The Kerala High Court on Monday asked the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to dispense the empanelled drivers who have been allowed to continue beyond 180 days in service. The empanelled drivers are the ones who were employed on a temporary basis.
The directive by HC states that the 1,565 empanelled drivers should be relieved before April 30, reports The Hindu. The Division Bench comprising of Justice V Chitambaresh and Justice AM Babu pointed out that it was a violation of Rule 9(2) in Part 2 of the Kerala State and Subordinate Service Rules.
According to Kerala State and Subordinate Service Rules of 1958, temporary appointments should be made when it was ‘necessary in public interest, owing to an emergency which has arisen to fill immediately a vacancy in a post borne on the cadre of a service, class or category and there would be undue delay in making such appointment’.
The rule also states that such persons appointed so shall not be allowed to continue in such post for a period exceeding 180 days ‘in preference to a candidate advised by the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC)’.
The court gave the directive while considering writ petitions filed by candidates who have been listed in driver post of the PSC rank list.
The High Court also specified that Kerala RTC cannot continue to operate its services with empanelled drivers when there were candidates waiting on the PSC rank list keen to join the service. The Kerala RTC can now request the PSC for a list of candidates based on seniority who should be appointed to the existing vacant posts.
The court also directed that by allowing the empanelled drivers to continue in service, Kerala RTC was satisfying the desires of trade unions, reports Manorama Online.
Kerala RTC had in last December dispensed 3,861 empanelled conductors from service after a similar court verdict. The conductors then staged indefinite protests in front of the secretariat for many months. A woman conductor who worked in Alappuzha depot had even tried to take her own life protesting the dismissal. The empanelled conductors had then ended the strike after getting assurance from Kerala RTC that they will be taken back.