Kochi: Kerala High Court on Thursday criticised Minister for Health and Social Welfare K.K. Shailaja for extending the deadline for submitting applications for the vacant posts of State Child Rights Commission. The allegation was that the extension was made for the appointment of two members of her choice to the commission. The court quashed the appointments of T.B. Suresh Kumar (Wayanad) and Syamala Devi (Kasargod) as members of the commission. The court allowed the petition and directed the state government to fill the consequent vacancies of the members from among the applicants in the waiting list published pursuant to the earlier notification.
The court said that the files did not disclose the reasons for extending the time limit for submission of application by Ms Shailaja. Since it was not possible to interfere with the various reasons stated in the affidavits from the files and since it had come out that Mr Suresh Kumar was an active worker of the CPM, the only inference possible was to hold that the enlargement of the time limit by the minister was intended to appoint Mr. Suresh Kumar and the same was not an exercise in good faith by the minister. The files also disclosed that he had been convicted in a criminal case. The state police chief had also informed the government that while he was convicted in one case, three were pending trial
and was acquitted in six cases.
The minister had directed to enlarge the outer limit prescribed for submission of the application till 20-01-2017 by a fresh notification. The petitioner argued that the government had invited applications through a notification issued on November 8, 2016 for appointment of members. The notification had specified that the applications should reach the government before 5 p.m. on November 30, 2016 and that belated application would not be entertained under any circumstances. However, the government extended the time stipulated for submission of application till 20-01-2017.