The Patna High Court has dismissed a writ petition filed by four final year students of Chanakya National Law University seeking consideration of their applications to the post of Assistant Prosecution Officer.
As per the advertisement issued by the Bihar Public Service Commission, the applicants to be the post must be a law graduate as on the last date for application, March 6.
The students moved the HC seeking permission to apply contending that they would be law graduates by the time of appointment. It was argued that since the relevant service rules -the Bihar Prosecution Manual 2003- did not contain any stipulation that the applicant must be a law graduate at the time of application, the advertisement cannot make such a condition.
The minimum qualification is for the purpose of "appointment" and not for "application", they argued.
But these arguments were rejected by Justice Madhuresh Prasad, relying on SC precedents Bhupinderpal Singh & Others -Versus- State of Punjab & Others, (2000) 5 SCC 262 and Rakesh Kumar Sharma -Versus- State (NCT of Delhi) & Others, (2013) 11 SCC 58.
The Court said that when the Rule is silent regarding when the eligibility should be acquired, the applicant must be possessing the same as on the last date of application
"In the case of Rakesh Kumar Sharma (supra), the Apex Court has clearly stated the settled legal proposition that selection process commences on the date when applications are invited and that only the person eligible on the last date of submission of applications has a right to be considered against vacancies provided he fulfills the requisite qualifications", Justice Prasad observed.
In view of that settled position, the prescription in the advertisement cannot be faulted in any manner, said the Court.
The writ petition was dismissed observing :
"The petitioners have no enforceable claim as it is the admitted position that they have yet to obtain their qualification as Law Graduates"
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