Observing that the present system of appointment to Group IV services based merely on oral interview is unconstitutional as the scope for favouritism, nepotism and corrupt activities is wide open, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Chief Secretary to select the last grade posts like sweeper, gardener, scavenger, village assistant, cook and office assistant by holding a written examination.
He also directed the Chief Secretary to issue consolidated instructions regards selection and appointments to Group IV posts to all the Government Departments across the State to ensure uniformity in the selection process and streamline the appointments.
Justice Subramaniam offered the directions on a plea moved by P Udhayakumar of Theni that his seniority of 13 years in the employment exchange was ignored and instead one P Sekar who registered in 2000 was given a night watchman’s job owing to extraneous consideration. But the plea was dismissed on the basis that Udhayakumar neither substantiated nor established his statement to quash the appointment made in 2011, more specifically, after a length of about eight years.
However, Justice Subramaniam on noting that this Court is witnessing innumerable number of litigations challenging the appointments to these last grade services mostly on the grounds of favouritism, nepotism, and corrupt activities, said, “Non-adherence of the established procedures for selection; no written examinations; appointments are made purely on interview basis; merit assessments are either not recorded or improperly recorded; the files are not scrutinised by the District Collector concerned and award of marks is not checked.”
Thus, these appointments are undoubtedly corrupt appointments made in order to paralyse the efficiency level in the public administration,” Justice Subramaniam said while noting that ineffective administration can never provide better services to the public at large and the executives should also find out whether the selected persons are capable of upholding nationalism as well as institutional integrity. The plea has been posted to July 24 for reporting compliance.