AIADMK: 11 TNPSC members appointment quashed

They were appointed on January 31, 2016, by Chief Minister late J. Jayalalithaa.

Chennai: In a major embarrassment to the AIADMK government, the Madras high court on Thursday struck down its order, appointing 11 persons as members of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission. They were appointed on January 31, 2016, by Chief Minister late J. Jayalalithaa. Holding that the process of appointment of the 11 members of the State Public Service Commission was deeply flawed without following any transparent process and defeating the very constitutional scheme for such appointment, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan quashed the appointments of R. Pratap Kumar, V. Subbaiah, S. Muthuraj, M. Sethuraaman, A.V. Balusamy, M. Madasamy, V. Ramamurthy, P. Krishnakumar, A. Subramanian, N.B. Punniamoorthi and M. Rajaram.

“The appointment of the 11 members to the State Public Service Commission by a G.O dated January 31, 2016, lacks the constitutional process and, thus, the said G.O is quashed. The aforesaid is not a reflection on the merits of 10 of the candidates (barring the retired district judge V. Ramamurthy), who is selected since the process was never gone into and their appointments were made without any process. V. Ramamurthy is held ineligible for the post of the member of the State Public Service Commission, for that matter any other post-retirement judicial post”, the bench added while allowing the petitions filed by DMK MP T.K.S. Elangovan, Advocates Forum For Social Justice by its president K. Balu and K. Krisnasamy, founder president of Puthiya Tamilagam.

Concurring with the submissions of senior counsel P. Wilson, the bench said no applications were actually called and there could not be any comparative assessment as only the chosen ones were asked to just submit their bio-data. No written notes were available and whatever transpired was oral. The advice of the Governor was made solely on one material, i.e., bio-data.

This process began on January 30 (Saturday) and concluded on January 31 (Sunday- a Non working day) and within this time, the file was initiated, approved, character verification done and an appointment made, with the members so appointed assuming office on February 2, 2016.

The bench said, “In our opinion, this appointing process or lack of it, was an account of a misconception that the appointment to the post of members of the public service commission was part of the spoils system based on the patronage of the state government and not requiring men who are “independent”. This lack of process appears to have escaped the attention of the Governor himself while making the appointments”.

The bench said any future appointment must keep in mind the requirements of Integrity, calibre and qualification read into the Constitutional scheme, an awareness in the public domain to have a wider pool of talent, a proper character and antecedent verification by a meticulous enquiry and scrutiny, a meaningful and effective deliberative/consultative process and the constitutional/functional and institutional requirements of the Public Service Commission to be kept in mind. A violation of the above said would be a failure of the requirement of the constitutional scheme and undermine the institutional integrity set forth as a prerequisite by the Supreme Court, the bench added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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