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HC dismisses petitions challenging ‘order’ that withdrew provisional select list of ReK for Kupwara

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Srinagar: The High Court has dismissed certain petitions which challenged an “order” that withdrew the controversial provisional select list of Rehbar-e-Khel (ReK) for Kupwara.

Justice Sanjay Dhar dismissed the petitions as meritless and said the selection of the petitioners was yet to be finalized as their selection was provisional in nature.

“It was well within their competence and jurisdiction, particularly in view of the fact that the selection was made by an incompetent Selection Committee and there were a large number of misdemeanors observed in the selection process. The petitioners cannot challenge the said action of the official respondents because no right has crystallized in their favor by their mere provisional selection,” he said.

The authorities in January 2018 issued an advertisement notice inviting applications from eligible candidates for engagement of Rehbar-e-Khel in the Department of Youth Services & Sports within District Kupwara on a zone basis including for Zone Drugmulla.

The total number of vacancies in the 13 zones of the district was 223. The petitioners offered their candidatures against 12 positions advertised for Drugmulla Zone. The interview of the eligible candidates was conducted in July 2018 and after the conclusion of the selection process, the petitioners were provisionally selected for 12 posts of Rehbar-e-Khel in Drugmulla Zone.

However, an order was issued by the authorities in May 2019 in terms whereof the provisional selection list of Rehber-e-Khel for Zone Drugmulla was withdrawn. A string of complaints alleging favoritism and break of the rules by the selectors had resulted in the rescinding of the provisional list.

The aggrieved candidates had raised objections relating to the manner in which the marks were awarded in the interview to the selected candidates. There were also objections pertaining to the relationship of selected candidates (petitioners in the instant case) with the officers and officials of the Youth Services & Sports Department.

The order that cancelled the provisional list on the basis of the recommendations of an inquiry committee observed that some of the selected candidates have been awarded exceptionally high marks in the interview though they were figuring at the bottom of the list as per the points calculated on the basis of their academic qualification.

The committee had also noted that out of 12 selected candidates six were related to the officials of the department, working in different schools/offices of the district. The committee called for the initiation of a fresh process of selection.

The court found that the interview of the candidates pertaining to Drugmulla Zone was not conducted by a duly constituted Selection Committee. The interview was conducted by the Additional Deputy Commissioner in place of the Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara.

As per Rehbar-e-Khel Scheme, the Selection Committee shall comprise District Development Commissioner concerned as its Chairman, District Youth Services & Sports Officer as its Member Secretary, District Employment & Counseling Officer, and Zonal Physical Education Officer as its members.

The court held that without the presence of the Deputy Commissioner, the Committee of the selection members is rendered defective.

The court made it clear that the petitioners do not have any vested right to seek direction upon the respondents asking them to take forward the selection process on the basis of the provisional select list.

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