10 June 2024


Supreme Court

West Bengal Central School Service Commission and Ors. Vs. Abdul Halim and Ors.




Decision would not be open to interference by Writ Court, if provision of a statutory Rule is capable of two or more constructions and one construction has been adopted

In present case, the Respondent No. 1 filed Writ Petition in Calcutta High Court, challenging the impugned communication on the basis that, he was eligible for the post, since he had successfully completed the Certificate Course in Bengali from the Delhi University. The Division Bench, by its order under appeal, directed Appellant No. 2 to recommend Respondent No. 1 for appointment as Assistant Teacher of Arabic (pass) in Bengali to the school. The question in present appeal is whether Commission had wrongfully cancelled Respondent’s selection for the post of Assistant Teacher of Arabic in the school.

The Division Bench and the Single Bench have erred in arriving at the finding that the Respondent No. 1 had fulfilled the requirements of Paragraph 2 of the Advertisement and/or Rule 5(c) of West Bengal School Service Commission (Selection of Persons for Appointment to the Post of Teachers) Rules, 2007.

It is well settled that, the High Court in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950 does not sit in appeal over an administrative decision. The Court might only examine the decision making process to ascertain whether there was such infirmity in the decision making process, which vitiates the decision and calls for intervention under Article 226 of the Constitution. To pass orders in a writ petition, the High Court would necessarily have to address to itself the question of whether there has been breach of any fundamental or legal right of the Petitioner, or whether there has been lapse in performance by the Respondents of a legal duty.

If the provision of a statutory Rule is reasonably capable of two or more constructions and one construction has been adopted, the decision would not be open to interference by the writ Court. The sweep of power under Article 226 may be wide enough to quash unreasonable orders. If a decision is so arbitrary and capricious that no reasonable person could have ever arrived at it, the same is liable to be struck down by a writ Court. If the decision cannot rationally be supported by the materials on record, the same may be regarded as perverse.

In present case, it is not in dispute that, the Respondent No. 1 who had been educated outside the State of West Bengal, did not have Bengali as a subject at the Secondary, Higher Secondary, graduation or post graduation level. The last Clause of Paragraph 2 of the advertisement and/or Rule 5 (c) of the Rules provides that, the candidate must have succeeded in higher level of education in that language paper.

Present court cannot but take judicial notice of the fact that universities do not usually allow students to opt for a language subject at the graduation level, if the subject was not cleared at the Higher Secondary level. The Respondent No. 1 has not produced any document or certificate of the Delhi University certifying that the certificate course in Bengali is of a standard equivalent to Bengali language at the post Higher Secondary level. The judgment and order under appeal cannot be sustained and the same is set aside. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed.

Tags : Appointment Direction Legality

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