Reacting to a plea which was filed by three ex-servicemen, the Allahabad High Court has asked the Central and the UP state government to clarify whether ex-servicemen can apply for civil posts while in service.
Justice Ajay Bhanot was hearing a petition filed by Sudhir Singh and two others through advocate Seemant Singh.
The petitioners had applied for the post of Village Development Officer under the Ex-Serviceman quota in the year 2016. They had passed the exam and even got their appointment letters. They had joined in February 2019. Later the commissioner issued a notice dismissing them from the post. The reason given was that they had applied for the job while they were still in service.
In the hearing that followed, their petition before the commissioner was dismissed in May 2019. The reason, that was given was that they were serving in the Army on 5 October 2016, the last date for applying for the post of Village Development Officer. Their appointment was deemed illegal on the grounds that they applied without retiring from their posts.
The petitioners stated that there are many orders of the army, according to which military personnel can apply for civil posts a year before retiring.
The bench however stated that Natural justice is a flexible tool in the hands of the judiciary to reach out in fit cases to remedy injustice. The breach of the audi alteram partem rule cannot by itself, without more, lead to the conclusion that prejudice is thereby caused.
However, the counsel on behalf of the state government said that army rules and orders would not apply to state governments.
The court has stated the Centre and the state to clarify the situation, in this case, adding that the state government should not forget that this benefit is also given to the ex-serviceman so that he can remain in the mainstream society.