New Delhi: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court has asked the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to consider applications for employment in the cadre C and D grade from land owners’, who had parted with their property or were displaced for the Kudankulam nuclear power project. The court had asked the authorities to select applicants based on merits and eligibility criteria. A division bench of justice N Kirubakaran and justice S S Sundar made the suggestions in response to a petition by former DMK MLA M Appavu who claimed that fake nativity certificates are being submitted to get employment at Kudankulam The former legislator from Tirunelveli had moved the Madurai bench to pass an interim direction directing the authorities of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) to provide employment to land owners who contributed lands to the project and those displaced because of the project and quash the authorities’ attempt to recruit outsiders against the earlier understanding with the villagers. The petitioner, who is also the honorary president of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant labour welfare association, in his petition said that in 1999, an amicable settlement was made between the public and officials of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) in the presence of then Tirunelveli district collector that employment in the cadre of C and D grade will be provided for the legal heirs of those who suffered due to the establishment of the plant and the land acquisition by the state government for the power plant. “It was agreed that the project affected persons would be given preference in fresh recruitment in the NPCIL subject to their fulfilling of selection criteria,” the petition stated. In January 2016, more than 56 vacancies were identified and applications were called for. Though it was published as if it was on merits, the said vacancies were filled from the families of nuclear power plant employees and their relatives. “They did not follow even their own employment selection process,” the petition stated. Many of the employees got fake nativity certificates as if they hailed from Kudankulam, the petition alleged and also claimed that a RTI reply revealed that the NPCIL authorities did not consider even a single candidate under the caption of land donors or displaced person under land acquisition process. The petitioner sought court intervention pointing to other public sector projects such as the (Isro), Mahendragiri, Kavalkinaru and Konkan Railway Corporation which had provided employment.