21 November 2022


Judgments

Supreme Court

Chief Manager Punjab National Bank And Anr. vs. Anit Kumar Das

MANU/SC/0823/2020

03.11.2020

Service

A candidate suppressing the material information or giving false information cannot claim right to continuance in service

The employer – Punjab National Bank has preferred the present appeal against impugned judgment passed by the High Court by which the High Court has dismissed the appeal preferred by the Appellant and has confirmed the judgment by which the learned single Judge allowed directed the Appellant Bank to allow the respondent herein – original writ Petitioner to discharge his duties as a Peon as per the appointment order dated 3rd October, 2016.

The original writ Petitioner never challenged the eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in the advertisement. He participated in the recruitment process on the basis of the advertisement, without challenging the eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in the advertisement. Therefore, once having participated in the recruitment process as per the advertisement, thereafter, it is not open for him to contend that acquisition of higher qualification cannot be a disqualification and that too when he never challenged the eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in the advertisement.

In the case of Yogesh Kumar vs. Government of NCT of Delhi , it is observed and held by this Court that, recruitment to public service should be held strictly in accordance with the terms of advertisement and the recruitment rules, if any. Deviation from the rules allows entry to ineligible persons and deprives many others who could have competed for the post.

It is for the employer to determine and decide the relevancy and suitability of the qualifications for any post and it is not for the Courts to consider and assess. A greater latitude is permitted by the Courts for the employer to prescribe qualifications for any post. There is a rationale behind it. Qualifications are prescribed keeping in view the need and interest of an Institution or an Industry or an establishment as the case may be. The Courts are not fit instruments to assess expediency or advisability or utility of such prescription of qualifications. However, at the same time, the employer cannot act arbitrarily or fancifully in prescribing qualifications for posts. In the present case, prescribing the eligibility criteria/educational qualification that a graduate candidate shall not be eligible and the candidate must have passed 12th standard is justified and it is a conscious decision taken by the Bank which is in force since 2008. Therefore, the High Court has clearly erred in directing the Appellant Bank to allow the Respondent to discharge his duties as a Peon, though he as such was not eligible as per the eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in the advertisement.

Even on the ground that Respondent – original writ Petitioner deliberately, wilfully and intentionally suppressed the fact that he was a graduate, the High Court has erred in directing the appellant Bank to allow the respondent – original writ petitioner to discharge his duties as a Peon. In the application/bio¬data, the Respondent¬ original writ Petitioner did not mention that he was a graduate. Very cleverly, he suppressed the material fact and declared his qualification as H.S.C., whereas as a matter of fact, he was holding a degree in the Bachelor in Arts. The High Court ought not to have allowed the writ petition when it was a clear case of suppression of material fact by the original writ petitioner. An employee is expected to give a correct information as to his qualification. The original writ petitioner failed to do so. He was in fact over¬qualified and therefore ineligible to apply for the job.

As held by this Court in the case of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan vs. Ram Ratan Yadav, suppression of material information and making a false statement has a clear bearing on the character and antecedents of the employee in relation to his continuance in service. A candidate having suppressed the material information and/or giving false information cannot claim right to continuance in service. Thus, on the ground of suppression of material information and the facts and as the Respondent even otherwise was not eligible as per the eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in the advertisement which was as per Circular letter No. 25 of 2008 dated 6th November, 2008, the bank rightly cancelled his candidature and rightly did not permit him to resume his duty.

The learned single Judge has not at all considered the aforesaid aspect of suppression of material fact and information. The impugned order passed by the High Court and the judgment and order passed by the learned single Judge of the High Court directing the appellant Bank to allow the Respondent to discharge his duties as a Peon as per appointment order is unsustainable and are accordingly quashed and set aside. Appeal allowed.

Tags : Appointment Direction Legality

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