29 Nov 2023 5:19 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected a public interest litigation ("PIL") challenging the mandatory requirement of CLAT-PG 2023 score as an eligibility criteria for induction of law graduates in Indian Army’s Judge Advocate General ("JAG") branch.A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna said that it was not a fit case for a PIL and prescribing...
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected a public interest litigation ("PIL") challenging the mandatory requirement of CLAT-PG 2023 score as an eligibility criteria for induction of law graduates in Indian Army’s Judge Advocate General ("JAG") branch.
A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna said that it was not a fit case for a PIL and prescribing educational qualifications was not within the court’s domain.
While dismissing the plea, the court said that the mandatory eligibility condition of CLAT PG 2023 score has been prescribed on various occasions previously when similar notifications were issued for grant of Short Service Commission by the respondent for JAG Branch.
“Therefore, this Court finds no merit in the contention of the petitioner that the aforesaid eligibility condition has been applied retrospectively on the ground that CLAT PG 2023 applications were closed on 18th November, 2022, while the impugned Notification was published on 30th October, 2023. The public at large was aware of the said mandatory eligibility condition, since the said condition had been stipulated by the respondent in the past also for similar appointments,” the court said.
It added that in exercise of its authority of Judicial Review, the court will not interfere with the eligibility or education conditions as laid down by the employing authority, which is in the nature of administrative domain of such employing authority.
The PIL was moved by one Shubham Chopra challenging an advertisement issued by the Indian Army [JAG ENTRY SCHEME 33rd COURSE] (Oct 2024) inviting online applications from unmarried male and female law graduates for grant of Short Service Commission("SSC") in JAG.
It was Chopra’s case that the notification was arbitrary, unjustified, unconstitutional and violative of provisions of the Constitution of India.
The plea averred that making CLAT-PG 2023 mandatory infringed upon the rights of the candidates who did not register themselves for the LLM entrance examination and are now ineligible, despite holding a valid graduate degree in law.
“It is pertinent to note that no candidate willing to apply for JAG 33 can go back 345 days in time to fill the application for CLAT PG 2023 to make himself eligible to apply for JAG 33. Therefore, Provision 2(c) along with Note 2 and Provision 9 are arbitrary, unjustified, and unconstitutional and the same should be struck down for being ultra vires," the plea said.
It added that in the selection procedure, the CLAT-PG 2023 score if of merit neither at the stage of selecting candidates for SSB nor at the time of preparation of the merit list (after the SSB interview) for appointments.
“Therefore, the CLAT PG 2023 is an entirely unnecessary and unwarranted hurdle being cast by the Respondent merely in a mechanical manner without bringing any reasonableness to it," the plea said.
Case Title: Shubham Chopra v. Union of India, W.P.(C) 15000/2023
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 1184
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