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Bank staff not govt employees: Madras HC

he question was raised in the High Court and while a single judge held in the positive, a bench of two judges finally held in the negative


Are employees of quasi-government organisations and banks, including RBI, employees of government?

No, says a division bench of the Madras High Court. The question was raised in the High Court and while a single judge held in the positive, a bench of two judges finally held in the negative.

The TNPSC issued a notification on November 9, 2016, to fill up vacant posts falling under Group-I services. Manojkumar, working in RBI, applied for the same. Against the column - Are you an employee of government?, Manoj replied in the negative.

Holding that he had suppressed the vital information, the PSC rejected his candidature. He moved the HC and following an interim direction, the commission allowed him to write the exam and he was provisionally selected to the post of DSP.

However, while passing final orders a fortnight ago, the single judge had held that Manoj, being an employee of RBI, falls under government employee category and suppression of this fact will vitiate his candidature. The commission denied him the job. Hence, the present appeal from Manoj.

“The appellant suffered disqualification due to the mistake committed by the outsourcing agency entrusted with the work of preparing application form as the agency omitted to include other services along with the government one in tune with clause 15(g) “, a division bench of Justices KK Sasidharan and PD Audikesavalu said on April 10.

Following a direction from judges, PSC Under Secretary appeared before the judge on April  4 and conducted a live demonstration. When the judges directed him to fill up the column in dispute - Are you a government employee?, the secretary typed ‘RBI employee’. Nothing came thereafter. The formation of the online questionnaire is in such a way that this question is mandatory without answering which, the candidate cannot proceed.

He also told the judges that there is provision only to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. To a question as to who did the mistake of non-inclusion of other services as indicated in clause 15(g) in the form, the Under Secretary without admitting it as a mistake, informed the judges that it was designed by a service provider Satvat Infosol (Pvt.) Ltd. So, the lacuna lies on the part of the outsourcing agency.

The judges held that the appellant very correctly indicated that he is not a government employee.

He could not be held responsible for the preparation of an incorrect questionnaire by  TNPSC. “We are, therefore, of the view that the appellant must succeed,” the bench said, set aside the March 26 last rejection order and allowed the appeal.