21 November 2022


Judgments

High Court of Jammu and Kashmir

J&K Service Selection Recruitment Board and Ors. Vs. Basit Aslam Wani and Ors.

MANU/JK/0359/2020

13.10.2020

Service

Prescription of qualification for a post is a matter of recruitment policy, judicial review cannot expand upon the ambit of prescribed qualifications to decide equivalence thereof

Present two Letters Patent Appeals arise from the judgment and order passed in writ petition, whereby the learned Writ Court, while holding that the candidates, Petitioners before the Writ Court, possessing higher Degree of B. Pharmacy, could not be treated as ineligible for the post of Junior Pharmacist advertised by the Services Selection Board (the Board) prescribing the minimum qualification of 10+2 and Diploma in Pharmacy, allowed the writ petition, quashed the select list prepared by the Board and directed reframing of the same and to recommend the writ petitioners for appointment against the advertised posts.

The law is settled that, prescription of qualification for a post is a matter of recruitment policy, and that the State as employer is entitled to prescribe qualifications as a condition of eligibility after taking into consideration nature of job, aptitudes required for efficient discharge of duties, functionality of qualifications, course content leading up to acquisition of qualification etc. Further, that judicial review cannot expand upon the ambit of prescribed qualifications to decide equivalence thereof. In absence of specific statutory rule under which holding of higher qualification could presuppose acquisition of lower qualification, such inference cannot be drawn.

It is also settled that, the Note of the advertisement notice, postulating that mere possession of prescribed qualification would not entitle a candidate to be called for written test or interview and the Board may shortlist among eligible candidates by granting weightage to higher qualification as may be decided by it, merely indicates that Board is vested with discretion in pursuance of enabling power which it may or may not exercise, and that a candidate has no vested right to assert that Board must as a mandate assign additional weightage to higher qualification.

It is the Government which is competent to decide what should be the qualification prescribed for a post and, in the instant case, the Government has, in fact, made Rules, namely, prescribing the qualifications. These Rules do not contain any provision stating that, B. Pharmacy is equivalent to Diploma in Pharmacy or that, B. Pharmacy presupposes acquisition of Diploma in Pharmacy. In these circumstances, present Court does not have the power to substitute the Government's policy or decision in this regard by its own opinion or view, or to add to the Rules what is not contained therein.

Participation of the writ Petitioners in the written test and interview or the fact that their names had figured in merit list would not alter the situation and make them eligible for the post, especially so when the Government had clearly conveyed to the Board that candidates possessing B. Pharmacy were not eligible for the post. The learned Writ Court, while holding that the writ Petitioners possessed higher degree and that they could not be excluded from the select list, has been clearly in error. The impugned judgment passed by the learned Writ Court is set aside. Appeals allowed.

Tags : Appointment Direction Legality

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