Jayalalitha's charge on SC,ST posts refuted

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, DEC. 22. The state government today asserted that the decision to render inoperative the `G.O.no.44', that provided for direct recruitment of SC,ST in filling the backlog of reserved vacancies for them, was within the framework of Constitutional law and did not amount to any contempt of the Supreme Court.

In a rejoinder to the AIADMK general secretary, Ms. Jayalalitha, the Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi said the subsequent order of the government, after the issue was discussed in detail in the Assembly and later in the Cabinet, was only to help the Dalits get the `full benefits' of reservation in state appointments.

Mr. Karunanidhi said in filling the backlog reserved vacancies, for whichever posts the existing rules permitted direct recruitment of SC,ST personnel, orders had been issued to do so.

However, there were certain other categories of Government posts, where direct recruitment was permitted only at the corresponding entry-level posts, as per the existing rules, he said.

Giving a couple of examples, the Chief Minister said that in filling backlog vacancies of Joint Secretaries at the Government Secretariat, the rules did not permit direct recruitment. Hence SC,ST personnel will have to be recruited directly as `Assistant Section Officers' first and then promoted on the basis of seniority.

Again, in filling backlog reserved vacancies at the level of District Revenue Officers (DRO), the SC,ST personnel could be directly recruited as Deputy Collectors and then they could become DROs through promotions on seniority basis, he said.

Stating that Tamil Nadu was the only state to have undertaken a major exercise to determine the total number of backlog vacancies for SC,ST, backward classes, most backward classes and denotified communities and initiated steps to fill all these posts in a phased manner, Mr. Karunanidhi said the credit for this `goes to the present DMK Government.'

Asking what steps the previous AIADMK regime had taken to fill the backlog reserved vacancies for all these communities at various levels of government, Mr. Karunanidhi said it was the previous DMK rule in 1989 which had lifted the ban on `dereservation of vacancies' earmarked for SC,ST, BC and MBCs', when suitable persons from those communities were not available. It was that step which enabled the `carry forward' facility in direct recruitment in respect of these communities, he added.

Mr. Karunanidhi said the `white paper' placed by the government in May last in the Assembly on this issue has detailed all the steps taken so far, including the particulars of the backlog vacancies which arose from April 1, 1989. The government's assurance that the entry-level posts will be filled in a phased manner was being carried out from this year, he said.

Observing that Ms. Jayalalitha's `selective use of facts' from the white paper will not be in the interests of the depressed and the backward classes, Mr. Karunanidhi said that her statement on the issue was `misleading'.

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