SRINAGAR: J&K and Ladakh High Court have asked Deputy Commissioner Kupwara to file an affidavit, specifying clearly as to whether the interviews for the 12 posts of Rehbar-e-Khel (ReK) for zone Drugmulla were conducted by him or the Additional District Development Commissioner, Handwara.
Hearing a petition filed by the aggrieved candidates, a bench of Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur also directed authorities to make available the records of the selection process more particularly the minutes of the meeting pertaining to the interview be also made available on or before the next date of hearing on February 17.
“One of the issues raised in the present petition is whether the selection committee, which conducted the interview for the 12 posts of Rehbar-e-Khel falling in district Kupwara was properly constituted or not,” the court said in the order.
The specific stand was taken by the ‘non-selected’ candidates, the court said, is that not only was the committee not properly constituted, but even the interviews were also conducted by the Additional District Development Commissioner whereas, as per the policy, the same had to be conducted by the District Development Commissioner of the concerned district.
“This issue has not been specifically replied to by the official respondents in their response. In that view of the matter, it is deemed appropriate to direct the Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara to file an affidavit specifying clearly as to whether the interviews conducted for the 12 posts of Rehbar-e-Khel were in fact conducted by the District Development Commissioner, Kupwara or the Additional District Development Commissioner, Handwara,” the court said, adding, “The records of the selection process more particularly, the minutes of the meeting pertaining to the interview be also made available on or before the next date of hearing.”
In one of the pleas, it has been submitted that on 27 October 2017 sanction for the adoption of policy formulated by the Youth Services and Sports Department regarding engagement of Rehbar-e-Khel came to be accorded and three thousand posts of Rehbar-e-Khel came to be created.
The ‘non-selected’ candidates have also alleged the authorities of nepotism vis-à-vis the selection of ‘selected’ candidates.
The Youth Services and Sports Department accordingly issued the advertisement notification on 13 February 2018 thereby advertising 12 posts of Rehbar-e-Khel for zone Drugmulla besides posts for other zones of the District Kupwara.
It has been submitted that some applicants having the basic, as well as additional qualification as required for the post of Rehbar-e-Khel, applied for the post and they along with other candidates including the selected one were subjected to viva and interview.
“(We) performed exceptionally well in the interview and expected their selection on the basis of their overall academic merit and performance in the interview. However, (District Youth Services and Sports Officer Kupwara) has issued the provisional selection list, thereby selecting the 12 applicants for the post of Rehbar-e-Khel and ignoring the petitioners despite their superior merit position,” they said.
The District Development Commissioner of the district who is the Chairman of the Selection Committee did not conduct the interview of the candidates, but the Additional deputy Commissioner Handwara substituted him during the interview process which is not permissible under law, they said.
Some applicants have specifically pointed out towards the close relation of the members of the interview committee with the selected candidates which has paved the way for their selection.
‘The respondents did not even receive the objections of the petitioners as have been invited in terms of the impugned notification which also points out towards nepotism and favouritism in the selection process,” they said, adding, “The selection of the private respondents is based on extraneous considerations as all the selected candidates have been systematically given more points in the viva while as petitioners despite their superior academic merit and exceptional performance in the interview have been awarded low marks to throw them out of selection zone.”
The aggrieved party is being represented by advocate Shafaqat Nazir, the ‘selected’ candidates by Moomin Khan while as the government represented by Sajad Ashraf (GA). (GNS)