New Delhi: The Supreme Court has quashed the appointment of Managing Director of the Uttarakhand Peyjal Sanshadhan Vikas Avam Nirman Nigam saying that departmental charge sheets filed against him were not placed before the selection committee.
A bench of H L Gokhale and J Chelameswar also pulled up the Utttarakhand High Court for not quashing the appointment, saying that such order "bring the judiciary into disrepute".
"We are equally or more appalled at the manner in which the concerned division bench of the High Court has handled the matter. The High Court has totally ignored the law on this aspect," the bench said.
"Such judgements would lead to the approval of the appointment of persons of doubtful integrity in higher administrative positions. Apart from that, it will lead the people to doubt the integrity of the judges as well. Citizens have a faith in the judiciary because it is expected to render justice even-handedly.
"The members of higher judiciary are granted a constitutional protection so that they function without fear and favour and not mis-apply the law. It is such orders which bring the judiciary into disrepute. We rather refrain from saying anything more," it said.
The apex court also directed the state government to hold inquiry as to why all the documents was not placed before the selection committee.
"It was his duty and responsibility to place these charge sheets before the Selection Committee of which he was a member. If the Secretary of the Department suppresses the relevant material, obviously the selection will not be on merit. This in fact raises a serious doubt about the integrity of the then Chairman of the Nigam.
"In the circumstances we expect the State of Uttrakhand to hold appropriate inquiry as to why the Chairman of the Nigam did not place the relevant material before the Selection Committee and take necessary corrective measure," the bench said.
It also expressed concern over the lack of basic facilities like drinking water for people and said people holding high posts in such departments need to be above board.
"After 67 years of Independence, Indian cities and villages continue to have a serious problem of getting good potable water to drink. There is also a serious problem of having a proper sewerage system. The officers at the high level have good salary and perquisites. They have got to be above board," it said.