Kerala PSC Protests: State halts regularisation proceedings, denies probe into current appointments
While considering the petition filed by the Youth Congress, the Kerala High Court asked if there is any rule to regularise the temporary staff in public sector companies. The plea stated that the government is placing people of their choice in public sector companies, corporates when PSC candidates are waiting for the job. The High Court sought an explanation from the government within 10 days. The petition was filed by Kollam native Faizal and Vishnu.
On Monday, Kerala HC had stayed the Kerala government's move to regularise temporary employees of Kerala Bank. Amidst the ongoing protest, the government’s move was to regularise 1,850 contract employees. Kerala Bank’s board of directors had scheduled to convene a meeting on Tuesday.
The verdict was based on a plea filed by a Kannur native, who is also a candidate in the PSC rank list, questioning the government’s action. The government had argued that there was no plan to regularise temporary employees in Kerala Bank. However, the petitioner produced letters relating to the regularisation move.
The HC also rejected the contention that the employees in the posts, which were not under the Public Service Commission, were being made permanent. The court case, which has stayed the follow-up proceedings for regularisation, will be heard in detail later. Meanwhile, in the wake of strengthening protests against irregular appointments in Kerala, the state government has decided to stop regularisation of temporary employees in various departments. The cabinet meeting on Wednesday, which lasted for nearly three hours, decided to halt the procedure. However, they have also noted that while the regularisation has been halted, they will not cancel the appointments made until now.
According to reports, a large number of potential candidates for regularisation are under the consideration of the government. Earlier, the Cabinet meeting had decided to regularise nearly 200 temporary employees. Following the latest reports, the opposition in Kerala has alleged that the state has already regularised those they wanted. They have demanded further investigation into the regularisation done until now, as they allege that the CPM government has picked from a list those favourable to the LDF.
The protests surrounding the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) rank holders’ demand for jobs has taken a different turn, with candidates rolling on the asphalt and walking on all fours in a symbolic gesture to plead their case. They have organised their movement in front of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram.
On the other hand, the opposition parties and youth organisations had been organising agitations throughout the state, with them going head-on against police in different parts. BJP leader Sobha Surendran staged a sit-in protest in solidarity with the protesting PSC rank holders. She said, “If the government turns a blind eye towards PSC rank holders crawling on their knees and rolling on the road, the government will have to crawl on its knees in future. Many will support the protest. Why is the CM afraid of it? This protest cannot be dismissed with threats.”
Meanwhile, reportedly, an official at Aralam Farm and Wildlife Sanctuary was suspended based on a complaint about sharing a defamatory social media post against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. According to sources, the suspended officer, an LD Clerk, had shared the controversial post in the official WhatsApp group.