Madhya Pradesh High Court today set aside the appointment of a government sub-engineer made in violation of rules in 1997 when Congress leader Digvijay Singh was chief minister and ordered criminal proceedings against the people involved in the recruitment.
A Division Bench also asked the BJP government to look into more such “unlawful appointments” in other departments in the past so that they can be identified and cancelled.
The bench, hearing a PIL filed by one Mansukh Lal Saraf, however, did not refer to any specific period of review for these appointments. Singh was the MP chief minister between 1993 and 2003.
The order comes at a time when the AICC General Secretary is spearheading Congress’s campaign against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.
“The impugned appointment order (put out in 1998) issued by the respondent No.2 (department concerned) in favour of respondent No.1 (Arun Kumar Tiwari, Sub-Engineer State Water Resources Department), is quashed and set aside,” said the Bench of Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice KK Trivedi.
The judges asked the authorities concerned to initiate criminal proceedings against the people involved in the appointment of Tiwari.
“Further direction is issued to the State of Madhya Pradesh to initiate appropriate legal action against the respondent No.1 (Tiwari) and all concerned who were instrumental in the appointment of respondent No.1 knowing fully well that it was contrary to the selection procedure prescribed by the recruitment rules,” the bench said.
Further, it said that “(the order) would also result in nullifying the judgement of this court dated September 11, 1997 against the respondent No.1 quashing his regularisation on the post of Sub-Engineer in Nagar Panchayat, Mauganj, District Rewa.”
The respondent (MP government) and its functionaries are directed to make all future regular appointments on the public posts strictly in conformity with recruitment rules, the judges said.
The HC also asked the Chief Secretary to look into appointments made in violation of rules and get back to it with details in January, 2016.