16 April 2023 8:47 AM GMT
More than three years after his appointment was cancelled by a single judge as he was found ineligible for the Class IV post revered under Backward Class category, the Patna High Court said Sessions Division at Saran could consider a Deoria resident's case against the vacancy in General category as a one time measure. Ajay Kumar Madhesiya, a Class IV employee, had been wrongly appointed under...
More than three years after his appointment was cancelled by a single judge as he was found ineligible for the Class IV post revered under Backward Class category, the Patna High Court said Sessions Division at Saran could consider a Deoria resident's case against the vacancy in General category as a one time measure. Ajay Kumar Madhesiya, a Class IV employee, had been wrongly appointed under the Backward Class category in 2013.
The division bench comprising Justices Ashutosh Kumar and Harish Kumar however made it clear that the case will not be treated as a precedent.
"We do reckon that sympathy has no place in adjudication. Nonetheless, we find from the affidavit filed by the appellant that many posts under Class-IV category are vacant and no appointment process has been concluded thereafter," said the court.
The Civil Courts in Saran at Chapra had issued an advertisement on 28.04.2011 for the appointment of Class IV posts in the Judgeship, which also included information about the percentage of reservation for various classes. The appellant and many others had applied in response to the advertisement. The reservation percentage for the Backward Class, to which the appellant belonged, was stated as 12% in the advertisement. After a written examination, they were subjected to an interview, and the results were sent to the High Court for approval.
Upon approval by the High Court, the appellant, who was the top-ranked candidate in the Backward Class category, was appointed to the Class IV post based on the merit list communicated on 05.07.2013. However, later it was discovered that the appellant had obtained the appointment based on a certificate showing him as a member of the Backward Class category in the State of Uttar Pradesh, whereas the reservation was supposed to be confined to the castes reserved within the State of Bihar.
The appellant belonged to the "Kandu" caste, which was not specified as a Backward Class in the Reservation Act of 1991, making him ineligible to avail the benefit of reservation for appointment to the State Government. Another candidate Mukesh Kumar, who was first on the waiting list, then moved the High Court. A single judge in 2019 held that Kumar was entitled to be offered the appointment in place of the appellant, if he was not otherwise disqualified.
Unsatisfied with the court's decision, the appellant filed a letter's patent appeal to challenge the impugned order.
The bench expressed agreement with the single Judge's opinion that the appointment of the appellant was invalid. However, the court noted that it was also persuaded to consider additional facts that were not brought up before the single Judge. Even if these grounds had been presented to the single Judge, the bench opined that the verdict would still not have been rendered questionable.
Taking note of the fact that “Kandu” caste falls in the Extremely Backward Class in the State of Bihar, the bench said that it may not ipso facto improve the position of the appellant, as he has not been registered in the State of Bihar as an EBC person; rather he had been, before his employment, residing in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
The other fact which the bench took note of was that the appellant had lost all his age to apply for any post in the Government at Class-IV level also and that he had been, without any misrepresentation, working for the last six and a half years.
Taking note of the fact that many posts under Class-IV category were vacant, the court said:
“This gives us a small space to explore as to what ought to be done to the appellant when in his place respondent no.5 stands appointed on Class-IV post”.
The bench said that “the Class-IV posts are still vacant and there being some element of confusion in the advertisement which never disclosed that the reservation would be provided strictly in terms of the Reservation Act, 1991 excluding the Backward Class of other States, which condition finds mentioned in later appointment processes, we are inclined to observe that the Sessions Division at Saran could consider the case of the appellant against the vacancy in General category as a one time measure, without any precedent.”
Case Title: Ajay Kumar Madhesiy vs. The State of Bihar and Ors Letters Patent Appeal No.1328 of 2019
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Pat) 30
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