The Orissa High Court has set aside the seven-year-old order of the State Administrative that had declared the appointment of 378 Odisha Civil Service (OCS) recruits as null and void.
The SAT had invalidated the appointment of the State civil servants recruits, who were given appointments in 2010 on the basis of an Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) advertisement published way back in 2006. The SAT had ruled that appointment of officers to Class-1 posts was invalid as they were earmarked for recruitment for the Class-ii posts.
378 officers were appointed in Odisha Administrative Services (OAS) and Odisha Financial Services (OFC) based on the recommendation of the OPSC.
Setting aside the SAT order, the HC had invoked Article 16 of the Constitution that guarantees rights of equal opportunity in matters of public employment. Art 16 (2) states that “No citizen shall on any ground ranging from religion, caste, creed, sex to place of birth, etc be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State, OPSC Counsel, Pradipta Mohanty.
The OPSC, in an advertisement published in 2006, had invited applications from eligible candidates to fill up a total of 378 Class-II posts in several cadres, including Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) and Odisha Finance Service (OFS). The recruitment process was completed in 2010 with the state appointing 73 successful candidates as OAS (Class-I) and 207 candidates as OFS (Class-I) officers while another 98 candidates were absorbed in other allied cadres as Class-II officers. However, the government’s recruitment process in appointing the recruits in the Class-I post was later challenged in the SAT.