18 May 2020


Judgments

Central Administrative Tribunal

Brahmprakash Sharma Vs. Union of India and Ors.

MANU/CA/0208/2018

16.05.2018

Service

Selection process has to be conducted strictly in accordance with stipulated selection procedure which needs to be scrupulously maintained

In facts of present case, the notice of Combined Graduate Level Examination, 2014 ('CGLE-2014'), issued by the Respondent-Staff Selection Commission ('SSC'), was published in the Employment News/Rozgar Samachar, inviting applications from eligible persons for recruitment to different posts in various Ministries/Departments/Organizations. The Applicant responded to the notice of CGLE-2014 and applied as an UR candidate for selection and recruitment. Based on the final result of CGLE-2014, the Respondent-SSC selected the applicant for the post of Inspector (Examiner) under Post Code M and nominated him to the Central Board of Excise & Customs, New Delhi. Physical Test, Medical Test, and Document Verification were conducted by the office of Principal Commissioner of Customs (General). Thereafter, he came to know over phone from the office of Principal Commissioner of Customs (General), Mumbai, that he did not acquire the essential qualification on or before 1st January, 2014 as per the notice of CGLE-2014 issued by the Respondent-SSC.

Thereafter, the Applicant made various representations requesting the Respondents and other authorities to reckon '1st August, 2014', instead of 1st January, 2014, as the cut-off date for reckoning the essential qualification prescribed for the CGLE-2014 and, accordingly, to give him appointment on the post of Inspector (Examiner), for which he was duly selected and nominated by the respondent-SSC. There being no response, the Applicant filed the present application seeking the reliefs.

A process of selection and appointment to a public office should be absolutely transparent, and there should be no deviation from the terms and conditions contained in the employment notice/Advertisement issued by the recruiting agency, as well as from the rules applicable to the recruitment process in any manner whatsoever, for a deviation in the case of a particular candidate amounts to gross injustice to the other candidates not knowing the fact of deviation benefitting only one or a few. The procedure should be same for all the candidates. In Bedanga Talukdar vs. Saifuddullah Khan, the Supreme Court has observed that, the selection process has to be conducted strictly in accordance with the stipulated selection procedure which needs to be scrupulously maintained. There cannot be any relaxation in the terms and conditions of the employment notice/advertisement unless such power is specifically reserved in relevant rules and/or in advertisement. Even where power of relaxation is or is not provided in relevant rules, it must be mentioned in the advertisement. Such power, if exercised, should be given due publicity to ensure that those candidates who become eligible due to relaxation are afforded equal opportunity to apply and compete.

Relaxation of any of the conditions stipulated in the employment notice/advertisement without due publication is contrary to the mandate of equality in Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India. In the instant case, acceptation of the applicant's plea for changing the crucial date for reckoning the essential qualification in his case would amount to directing the Respondents to act contrary to the terms and conditions contained in the notice of CGLE-2014. The Tribunal is required to enforce the rule of law, and not to issue a direction which is contrary to what has been injected by law. Therefore, the Respondents cannot be said to have acted arbitrarily and unreasonably in not acceding to the Applicant's claim to change the crucial date for reckoning his essential qualification.

The Applicant was fully aware about the crucial date '1st January, 2014' for reckoning the essential qualifications stipulated in the notice of CGLE-2014, when he applied for selection and recruitment. He admittedly acquired the essential qualification (B.A. degree) only on 5th March, 2014, i.e., subsequent to the crucial date stipulated in the notice of CGLE-2014. Therefore, he was wholly ineligible to apply for selection. The selection and nomination made by the Respondent-SSC in favour of the Applicant for appointment to the post of Inspector (Examiner) under CBEC on the basis of wrong particulars furnished by the Applicant at all stages of selection process about his possessing the essential qualification as on the crucial date, would not confer on the Applicant any right, much less an enforceable right, to claim change in the crucial date stipulated in the notice of CGLE 2014 or to claim appointment on the basis of the said selection and nomination.

If the Applicant felt that the fixation of crucial date '1st January, 2014' for reckoning the essential qualification was bad and illegal, he could have challenged the notice of CGLE-2014 before competent forum at the appropriate time. The applicant not having done so, and having applied for selection in response to the notice of CGLE-2014 by misrepresenting the fact of his having possessed the essential qualification as on the cut-off date '1st January, 2014', is estopped from questioning any of the terms and conditions stipulated in the notice of CGLE-2014 after it was detected by the Respondent-CBEC during verification of documents that, he was ineligible to apply for selection and recruitment pursuant to the notice of CGLE-2014 due to his not possessing the essential qualification as on the crucial date, i.e., 1st January, 2014. Application dismissed.

Relevant

Bedanga Talukdar vs. Saifuddullah Khan, MANU/SC/1143/2011
: (2011) 12 SCC 85

Tags : Recruitment Selection Grant

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