The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court in the case Vishal Khajuria V/s Staff Selection Commission observed and has ruled that even if a candidate scores well in recruitment tests, thus, they cannot be appointed if they lack the basic eligibility criteria.
The bench headed by Justice Sanjeev Kumar in the case observed and has dismissed the petition filed by an individual who participated in the selection process for Constable, GD in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, ITBP despite not possessing the mandatory matriculation qualification.
The court in the case observed that the eligibility criteria for recruitment goes to the root of selection and the person, who does not possess the prescribed qualification, cannot be appointed against the post even if he has qualified all the tests which are laid down for such recruitment.
Facts of the Case:
The Petitioner had participated in the selection process for 6224 Constable vacancies which is advertised by the ITBP.
Therefore, the written test was provisionally being cleared by him and he scored higher than the last selected candidate.
It was revealed during the final scrutiny that he lacked the minimum qualification of matriculation or its equivalent, as prescribed in the advertisement and despite scoring well, his candidature was cancelled due to ineligibility.
The petitioner in the plea challenged his exclusion from the final list, wherein it is argued that he should be considered based on his performance in the tests.
Observations Made by the Court:
The bench headed by Justice Kumar in the case obserevd and has emphasized that the eligibility criteria form the foundation of the selection process and the same could not be overlooked even if a candidate performs exceptionally well in the subsequent stages.
The court while acknowledging the government’s prerogative to set qualification requirements and to recognise qualifications which being equivalent to them the bench stressed that the Courts are loath to enter into this arena and determine the qualifications which are equivalent to a particular qualification prescribed for recruitment to a post.
It has also been pointed out by the said court that the government had recognized the ‘Adeeb’ qualification from Jamia Urdu, Aligarh, as equivalent to matriculation for posts requiring Urdu proficiency at that level.
However, the court observed that the Constable position did not necessitate such Urdu expertise.
The bench headed by Justice Kumar in the case observed and has noted that there being no such dispute with regard to the fact that post of Constable is not such as would require the knowledge of Urdu of High School or Matriculation standard, a fortiori it would mean that the petitioner possessing the qualification of Adeeb from Jamia Urdu, Aligarh does not possess the qualification of 10th or equivalent and therefore, is not eligible to be appointed as Constable, GD. Thus, this is notwithstanding the fact that he has provisionally participated in the selection process and has even made the grade.
The court while considering the facts and circumstances of the case observed and has dismissed the plea while upholding the petitioner’s ineligibility due to the lack of the mandatory qualification.
Accordingly, the court dismissed the plea.