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There should be no discrimination based on place of residence of candidate in the case of public employment: Kerala High Court

The High Court of Kerala, through learned judge, Justice V.G Arun in the case Liji AS v State of Kerala & Ors.(WP(C) NO. 5835 OF 2021) held that there should be no discrimination based on place of residence of candidate in the case of public employment.

BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE: The petitioner had applied for the post of Accountant-cum-Data Entry Operator notified by the Annamanada Grama Panchayat under the MNREGS. After the interview, the petitioner was ranked in first place. In the Panchayat committee meeting held, nine members, including the Vice President, were against appointing the petitioner for the reason that her place of residence was not within Annamanada Grama Panchayat. According to the petitioner, the dubious intention behind the dissent was to ensure appointment for one Anumol Babu, who, from among the applicants, was the only resident of Annamanada Grama Panchayat, but had scored the least marks. The petitioner filed the writ petition and prayed for quashing the resolution that was passed. After the writ was filed, the panchayat held that the appointment vacancy was discarded since there was no pending work. 

JUDGEMENT: The Court, relying on the decision in Kailash Chand Sharma, deemed it appropriate to set aside the decision of the Panchayat Committee refusing appointment to the petitioner for the sole reason that she was not a resident of Annamanada. Further, with respect to the issue of the Committee’s decision to not appoint anyone to the post, the Court ordered the State government to decide on whether the panchayat could unilaterally decide not to fill up a post created for the purpose of implementation of the MGNREGA Scheme.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – AMRUTHA K

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