KATHMANDU, July 2: The Supreme Court on Monday gave the go ahead to government authorities– Public Service Commission and Ministry of General Administration— for recruiting over 9,000 personnel for the local governments.
The court said it gave its nod for the vacancies upholding the rights of all those eligible for government jobs to apply.
A division bench of Justices Hari Krishna Karki and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai issued the order in response to five different writ petitions challenging the staff recruitment.
After two days of hearings that started Sunday, the court refused a stay order to halt the recruitment.
The apex court order to parliament’s secretariat and its State Affairs Committee, the House of Representatives, the Ministry of General Administration and the Public Service Commission (PSC), which had been refusing to halt the recruitment, has ended the long uncertainty regarding the recruitment process.
Challenging the process of recruiting 9,161 personnel for 515 local-level government units, five separate writ petitions were lodged by advocates Jagdev Chaudhary, Bikash Thakur, Rajaram Ghimire, Janak Bahadur Budha and Kavita Basnet. The five claimed that the process undermined the principle of inclusion and the principle of federation. This is the first time that the PSC is recruiting such a huge number of staff at one go.
Some staffers at the local units had also moved the court, challenging the advertising of the PSC vacancies. They claimed that the advert underlined the role of the local governments as enshrined in the constitution and constituted an infringement by the center.
Those who have been serving at local levels as temporary or contract staff have argued that the PSC advert undermines the Local Governance Operation Act, 2017 and the right to internal competition among the temporary and contract staff.
Advocates Chaudhary and Thakur claimed in their respective petitions that the PSC advertisement undercuts the principle of inclusion and that the directive of parliament’s State Affairs Committee infringes on the role of the local authorities.
Claiming that the directive issued by the SAC on staff recruitment was illegal, advocate Rajaram Ghimire sought an apex court annulment of the directive.
The PSC had published an advertisement on May 29 to fill 9,161 vacant local unit positions. Even though the regular deadline for applications expired on June 16, candidates could submit applications till July 2 on payment of double charges.
The aspirants for the positions were in confusion whether or not there would be recruitment exams because the local authorities had already recruited certain numbers of temporary and contract staff.
The petitioners alleged that the adverts undermined the recruitment process because it did not allocate seats for quotas. Activists of an Awareness Campaign had been protesting lack of quotas for people from deprived and marginalized groups.
Petitioner Ghimire had claimed that the directive issued by the parliamentary committee was a grave violation of constitution and a mockery of democracy.
The petitioners raised a question whether parliamentary committees could issue directives to the PSC, claiming that Sections 242 and 243 of the constitution did not allow the issuing of such directives. The SAC had issued directives on June 11 to annul the recruitment process.