Thursday, March 18, 2010

Adhere strictly to norms: HC

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has directed the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) that appointment of boat drivers and supervisors should be strictly in compliance with the provisions of the Kerala Public Canals and Public Ferries Act.

The court criticised the KTDC for appointing a non-qualified person as boat supervisor by relaxing the norms. �If this is the way the KTDC is making appointments, there is no wonder that a boat tragedy occurred in the lake at Thekkady, the court said.

Justice S Siri Jagan issued the directive while disposing of the petition filed by Kuruvila Joseph a boat srank with the KTDC, challenging the promotion of boat driver N Thevan as boat supervisor.

Kuruvila, a boat srank with the KTDC at Aranyanivas, Thekkady, is a holder of Boat Masters Certificate issued under the Kerala Public Canal and Public Ferries Act. In the petition, he alleged that Thevan did not have the required qualification and his appointment as boat supervisor was illegal.

The KTDC was of the opinion that there were no rules regarding the appointment of boat supervisor and Thevan was promoted as he was the senior-most employee in the feeder category.

Finding that Thevan�s appointment was illegal, the court said it was surprising to see that a person who does not have any qualification was appointed the master of the boat by relaxing all three required qualification.

�Driving a boat is the job of an expert and qualified person.

Safety of the passengers is in the hands of boat driver,� the court said.

The court quashed the appointment of Thevan as boat supervisor. However, the court said that Kuruvila, the petitioner was not entitled to be appointed as the supervisor as he did not have service qualification as stipulated by the Rules.

The court directed the KTDC that those who do not have required qualification should be terminated from the service or shifted to other sections.

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