Chennai, Jan 31 (PTI) The Madras High Court Thursday took serious note of allegations in a petition that candidates from North India were preferred for certain posts in the Southern Railway over aspirants from Tamil Nadu, saying if state authorities had shown such discrimination they would have been branded as “anti-nationals.” Justice M Dhandapani made the observation on a petition seeking a CBI probe into the allegations that railway authorities, particularly from the northern states of the country, hampered the recruitment process for posts like helper, peon, sanitary worker, trackman, and others, by recruiting North Indian candidates. Also Read - Over 15 Lakh Vaccinated, 11 Hospitalised Across India So Far, 6 Deaths Unrelated: Govt

Noting that the petition was likely to open Pandora’s box for the railways, the judge said the allegations levelled by the petitioner P Pannerselvam should be probed seriously. Also Read - FAU-G Mobile Game to be Launched on Republic Day | Here’s How to Download The Game

If proved, it would be a clear discrimination against the candidates from Tamil Nadu, he added. Also Read - BJP, TMC Lock Horns Over Jai Shri Ram Chants as Mamata Refuses to Address Netaji Event in Kolkata | Key Points

He observed that the allegation was similar to that of 2016 postal recruitment scam in which candidates from Haryana, Maharashtra and Punjab scored higher marks in Tami exam as compared to Tamil candidates.

“There is something serious in this. Such type of discrimination cannot be done against a particular state alone. If such things are done by authorities from Tamil Nadu, it would have been made a national issue. They would have been called anti-nationals,” the judge said.

During the hearing, counsel for the CBI submitted that it was yet to receive the representation made by the petitioner and sought time to get instructions from authorities concerned.

The petitioner alleged to facilitate the appointment of non-Tamil speaking candidates, lakhs of applications by Tamil Nadu candidates were rejected on flimsy grounds such as lack of self-attestation.

According to the petitioner, the railway recruitment cell in Chennai issued a notification on September 21, 2013, calling for application from eligible candidates for Group D posts.

The petitioner was also one among the applicant.

A year after the notification, exams were conducted for the posts on several days between November 2 to November 30, 2014.

Claiming that exams were conducted under mysterious circumstance as even the hall tickets were issued without photographs of candidates, the petitioner filed a complaint with the CBI, seeking a detailed investigation.

Such scam has been carried out not only for the posts under Grade D, but also other higher posts even falling under Grade A for many years without any hindrance in total collusion with railway officials, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.