Ranchi: The fate of 172 officers appointed by the Jharkhand Public Service Commission in 2007 through the second Public Service Examination is in dilemma. Acting on the petition filed by suspended officers, the Jharkhand High Court ordered on Tuesday has sent notices to all the 172 officers.

The state government had suspended 19 officers on the basis of the surveillance report which proved tampering of answer sheets and manipulation of interview marks. The petitioners are among those officers who were not allowed to re-join despite their suspension being stayed by the single judge bench of the High Court.

However, the division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice Jaya Ram stayed the earlier decision of the court and issued notices to all officers found guilty in the surveillance report.

The court has asked the government, “When all 172 officers were found to be guilty in the surveillance report, then why only 19 of them faced suspension? So why not suspend all the officers?”

The High Court also asked, “Why was the examination not cancelled?” and commented that one does not have a right to be appointed on illegal grounds.

The court observed that reference, money and nepotism were used in getting the appointment, but action was taken against only 19 officers which hint at the government’s involvement in trying to protect the guilty.

The court has ordered to issue notices within 15 days and announced the next hearing of the case to be held on December 9.