‘The metro agency should be vigilant in verifying qualifications of candidates’
Observing that Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) ought to have been extremely vigilant in verifying the qualifications of candidates, the Kerala High Court has directed the metro agency to review the credentials and experience of Pradeep Panicker who has been appointed as general manager, (HR administration and training), KMRL.
Justice Devan Ramachandran also directed the interview board to conduct the review in a month with due diligence, particularly with respect to his certificate of experience and degree certificate from the National Institute of Personal Management (NIPM).
The court ordered that if Mr. Panicker’s candidature was found untenable, then consequential action should be taken by KMRL without delay.
The directive came on a writ petition filed by C. Arockiaswamy of Tamil Nadu, a candidate for the post. According to him, Mr. Panicker, ranked first, did not have the required qualifications and experience. The petitioner pointed out that Mr. Panicker had only an experience of 19 years and 10 months in the human resource field, instead of 20 years as prescribed by the metro agency.
Besides, Mr. Panciker had claimed that he had undergone a two-year full-time training at the National Institute of Personal Management (NIPM). However, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had accorded permission to the NIPM only to offer a part-time postgraduate diploma in personnel management.
As for Mr. Panicker’s educational qualifications, the court noted, “Some amount of cloud has certainly been thrown on it on account of the certificate produced by the petitioner from the AICTE which apparently certifies that the NIPM had been granted sanction only to conduct a three year part-time postgraduate diploma in personnel management.”
On the handwritten certificate produced by Mr. Panicker from a hotelier, the court noted that reputed concerns never issued handwritten experience certificates. Besides the certificate did not appear to be carrying a seal, apart from a signature whose subscriber had not been identified.
The court expressed hope that KMRL would not stoop to a level where it would try and perpetrate an illegality, to the detriment of its functional excellence.