Minor mistake denies trio dream job in central forces legal

Express News Service

KOCHI:  Ever since they cleared their class X exams, the three young women had only one dream: A job in the central armed forces. In pursuit of their ambition, the trio — Neethulekshmi S, 24, of Kollam, Princy P, 29, of Thiruvananthapuram and Amritha Anil, 25, of Kollam — applied for the Staff Selection Commission exam for central armed forces.

They toiled hard and spent sleepless nights preparing for it. But when they finally cleared the exam and other hurdles, including physical test, in 2018, the Centre put a spoke in the wheel, rejecting their appointments citing they had wrongly entered the district code of their domicile in the application form. However, the three — who got acquainted with each other during the selection process — were not ready to give up and approached the court.

Though a division bench of the Kerala High Court issued a favourable order in February this year directing the Centre to appoint them, the trio continued to knock on the doors of authorities concerned as nothing happened thereafter. Now, they have moved the HC seeking to initiate contempt action against Union government officers for not complying with its order. They are so determined to become armed forces personnel that Amritha and Princy have even postponed their wish to become a mother, despite pressure from their in-laws and parents. Neethulekshmi, an MBA graduate, even turned down several other job offers to pursue her dream.

The Staff Selection Commission had in July 2018 notified vacancies, inviting applications from candidates for recruitment to the posts of Constables in Central Armed Police Forces, NIA, SSF and Rifleman in Assam Rifles, which are the para police forces and armed forces.

Mistake has no bearing on selection process, says counsel

 Neethulekshmi, Princy and Amritha have successfully passed various stages of examination, including physical test after undergoing severe training. The appointment was denied citing that the “district code was not matching with the domicile district”.

According to their counsel G Krishnakumar, the mistake has no bearing on the selection process as the vacancies are state-wise. Citing a Supreme Court order, he said there cannot be any concept of separate domicile for states and that there can only be a domicile of the country.

Neethulekshmi said though her native district is Kollam, she mentioned it as Thrissur in the application form since her family resides there as part of her mother’s job. “My dream is to don the uniform of the central police force. I have been working hard to achieve this and in 2018, I cleared all the tests. However, for the past three years, I have been engaged in a legal battle to fulfil my dream,” said Neethulekshmi. Princy and Amritha also made similar mistakes while entering the district code. “It was an unintentional mistake,” said Princy. Married four years ago, she has postponed her desire to be a mother expecting this job. “If I am pregnant when appointed and called for the training, it will affect my career,” she said.

Amritha said though she had cleared the exam in 2014, she failed in the medical test. Amritha said that in 2018, she cleared all hurdles, but a minor mistake which has no relevance to the appointment spoiled her dreams. “The authorities pointed out the mistake only in the final phase. We have faith in the judicial system and expect the final decision in our favour,” said Amritha.

While issuing a directive to appoint them in February, the HC division bench stated the candidates had crossed all the hurdles in the selection process and it was in the final stage that their applications were rejected on the sole ground of a mistake in entering the district code. However, the Centre approached the Supreme Court against the HC order to appoint them in a month, which is still pending.

KOCHI:  Ever since they cleared their class X exams, the three young women had only one dream: A job in the central armed forces. In pursuit of their ambition, the trio — Neethulekshmi S, 24, of Kollam, Princy P, 29, of Thiruvananthapuram and Amritha Anil, 25, of Kollam — applied for the Staff Selection Commission exam for central armed forces.

They toiled hard and spent sleepless nights preparing for it. But when they finally cleared the exam and other hurdles, including physical test, in 2018, the Centre put a spoke in the wheel, rejecting their appointments citing they had wrongly entered the district code of their domicile in the application form. However, the three — who got acquainted with each other during the selection process — were not ready to give up and approached the court.

Though a division bench of the Kerala High Court issued a favourable order in February this year directing the Centre to appoint them, the trio continued to knock on the doors of authorities concerned as nothing happened thereafter. Now, they have moved the HC seeking to initiate contempt action against Union government officers for not complying with its order. They are so determined to become armed forces personnel that Amritha and Princy have even postponed their wish to become a mother, despite pressure from their in-laws and parents. Neethulekshmi, an MBA graduate, even turned down several other job offers to pursue her dream.

The Staff Selection Commission had in July 2018 notified vacancies, inviting applications from candidates for recruitment to the posts of Constables in Central Armed Police Forces, NIA, SSF and Rifleman in Assam Rifles, which are the para police forces and armed forces.

Mistake has no bearing on selection process, says counsel

 Neethulekshmi, Princy and Amritha have successfully passed various stages of examination, including physical test after undergoing severe training. The appointment was denied citing that the “district code was not matching with the domicile district”.

According to their counsel G Krishnakumar, the mistake has no bearing on the selection process as the vacancies are state-wise. Citing a Supreme Court order, he said there cannot be any concept of separate domicile for states and that there can only be a domicile of the country.

Neethulekshmi said though her native district is Kollam, she mentioned it as Thrissur in the application form since her family resides there as part of her mother’s job. “My dream is to don the uniform of the central police force. I have been working hard to achieve this and in 2018, I cleared all the tests. However, for the past three years, I have been engaged in a legal battle to fulfil my dream,” said Neethulekshmi. Princy and Amritha also made similar mistakes while entering the district code. “It was an unintentional mistake,” said Princy. Married four years ago, she has postponed her desire to be a mother expecting this job. “If I am pregnant when appointed and called for the training, it will affect my career,” she said.

Amritha said though she had cleared the exam in 2014, she failed in the medical test. Amritha said that in 2018, she cleared all hurdles, but a minor mistake which has no relevance to the appointment spoiled her dreams. “The authorities pointed out the mistake only in the final phase. We have faith in the judicial system and expect the final decision in our favour,” said Amritha.

While issuing a directive to appoint them in February, the HC division bench stated the candidates had crossed all the hurdles in the selection process and it was in the final stage that their applications were rejected on the sole ground of a mistake in entering the district code. However, the Centre approached the Supreme Court against the HC order to appoint them in a month, which is still pending.

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