JK High Court’s Verdict on JKSSB: What You Need to Know Now

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The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, along with Ladakh, issued a landmark directive on Thursday, instructing a High-Level Committee to review the operations of the Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB). This directive comes in response to a plea heard by a bench presided over by Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi. The court’s decision has far-reaching implications for the functioning of the JKSSB and the recruitment processes within the region.

A Pause on Selection Processes

One of the key directives from the High Court is the immediate halt of the selection process for various posts that were advertised by the JKSSB. This decision stands suspended until the government takes a final stance on the report and recommendations furnished by the High-Level Committee tasked with scrutinizing the board’s functioning. The court has taken cognizance of the importance of this review process and its potential impact on the future of recruitment within the region.

The Committee’s Mandate

The High-Level Committee, which was convened on April 22, has a specific mandate. Its primary objective is to evaluate whether the JKSSB’s process of selecting M/S Aptech Ltd. to conduct examinations adhered to the existing Financial Rules and Acts. Furthermore, the committee must ensure that all relevant norms and regulations have been diligently followed. This thorough examination aims to guarantee fairness, transparency, and compliance with legal requirements in the selection of examination conducting agencies.

Timelines for the Committee

The High Court has imposed strict timelines on the High-Level Committee. As per the court’s directive, the Committee must submit its comprehensive report within ten days from the date of this judgment. This emphasizes the urgency and importance attached to the review process.

Government’s Role

Following the submission of the Committee’s report, the Chief Secretary is entrusted with the task of making decisions based on the report’s recommendations. The court has stipulated that the Chief Secretary must finalize these decisions within ten days of receiving the report. This expeditious timeline underscores the court’s commitment to resolving the matter swiftly and effectively.

Action by JKSSB

Once the government reaches a final decision, the Secretary of the JKSSB is directed to act strictly in accordance with the government’s stance. However, until such a decision is reached, the JKSSB is barred from advancing with any aspect of the selection process. This provision ensures that the integrity of the selection process is maintained and that the interests of all stakeholders, including the aspirants, are safeguarded.

Petitioner’s Quest for Fairness

The court’s intervention in this matter arises from the pleas of 40 petitioners who sought fairness in the recruitment process. These petitioners emphasized the need for not only fairness in the recruitment agency’s actions but also in the agency conducting the examinations. Their concerns, often described as Orwellian, revolved around the potential misuse and abuse of modern technology by M/S Aptech Limited and other entities. The petitioners pointed out that Aptech Limited has a tainted past record and has previously been blacklisted, raising serious questions about its eligibility to conduct examinations of this nature.

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