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HC notice to ex-CM Prithviraj Chavan on recruitment of sports persons in govt jobs

The Bombay High Court today issued notice to former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and other respondents on a PIL alleging direct recruitment of sports persons in government jobs by him under sports quota without following procedure.


Prithviraj Chavan

The notices, issued by a division bench of justices N H Patil and B P Colabawalla, are returnable after six weeks. The court was hearing the PIL by Sports and Physical Development Association (SPEDA) which has challenged appointments made in 2011 while alleging that Chavan directly recruited 12 sports persons in various posts such as deputy collector, deputy superintendent of police and tehsildar.

The PIL alleged that the 12 appointees were either related to ministers or known to them, and sought cancellation of these appointments saying the due procedure was not followed in approving them.

The judges today sought a clarification on whether it (government) had a policy by which the chief minister directly
recruited sports persons in government jobs without following the proper procedure.

"If you have a policy of the CM directly recruiting sports persons in government services, then place it before us. We will see if it (policy) is in consonance with the rules and regulations," said justice Patil.

Gunaratan Sadavarte, advocate for the petitioner, argued that as per rules and regulations for the appointment of sports persons in government jobs, the state had to first issue an advertisement inviting applications. They are then scrutinised and after personal interviews, recruitment is made through Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC).

The PIL said that the chief minister appointed eight sports persons in class-I category and four in class-II category on October 4, 2011.

"Without following any procedure, the chief minister's office issued a press note on October 4, 2011, saying these appointments had been made," claimed Sadavarte.

Apart from violating rules and regulations, these appointments are contrary to the Supreme Court judgement in Umadevi versus State of Karnataka case. There cannot be "back door entry" as far as government recruitments are concerned, argued Sadavarte.

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