KVIB selections: High Court seeks clarification from Govt on cancellation

J&K High Court has asked the government to show cause as to why an appeal against cancellation of selections in the Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) be not admitted.

A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rashid Ali Dar asked senior additional advocate general B A Dar to come up with a clarification to the extent the government order dated 28.06-2019 refers to cancellation of the selections in KVIB.

While issuing notice to the government which was accepted by Dar, the court asked him to file the affidavit by August 9.

The aggrieved selected candidates had challenged a single bench order dismissing their petition as “premature” against the cancellation of their selection/appointment.

The petitioners, the single bench had said, shall have to wait to the outcome of the decision by the Board.

The directions came after senior advocate Z A Shah drew attention of the court towards the government order which said: “the selections made in the KVB pursuant to advertisement notice no. KVIB/01 of 2016 dated 08.10.2016 are quashed/cancelled”.

Shah told the court that the government order further reveals that KVB will provide opportunity of being heard to all the candidates appointed to different category posts and fulfil all the other formalities required under law before cancelling the appointments of these candidates.

“In view of the cancellation contained in serial no. (i) the appointment of the appellants is tantamount to have been cancelled,” Shah said. He said the cancellation of the appellants’ selection was in gross violation of the applicable rules and principles of natural justice.

Shah submitted that the decision has been taken by the government already and the observation that the petitioners shall have to wait for outcome of the decision by the board is “erroneous”.

The KVIB appointments in 2016 during the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government invited much criticism after a PDP leader’s son was among the selected candidates for the post of Executive Officer.

A probe committee constituted by the government found that selections made by KVIB in 2016 had been made by flouting set systems and procedures specified for such appointments.

The inquiry committee, which was led by then Home Secretary R K Goel, in its report submitted to the Government stated said the committee was of the considered view that the entire selection process suffered from various deficiencies/ flaws.

The committee recommended that the entire process be quashed and initiated afresh after following the due procedure.