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"Public Organisations Must-Have Regard For Livelihood Of Persons In Armed Forces": Gujarat HC Imposes INR 50,000 Fine On ONGC For Exclusion Of Ex-serviceman From Job post

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
22 March 2022 3:06 PM GMT
Public Organisations Must-Have Regard For Livelihood Of Persons In Armed Forces: Gujarat HC Imposes INR 50,000 Fine On ONGC For Exclusion Of Ex-serviceman From Job post
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The Gujarat High Court has imposed a fine of INR 50,000 on Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited while holding as follows; "since it prima facie appears that the exclusion of the petitioner was not by an accident and further, in any case, the respondent organization, more particularly, being a Public Sector Undertaking under the Government of India was required to act fairly,...

The Gujarat High Court has imposed a fine of INR 50,000 on Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited while holding as follows;

"since it prima facie appears that the exclusion of the petitioner was not by an accident and further, in any case, the respondent organization, more particularly, being a Public Sector Undertaking under the Government of India was required to act fairly, more particularly, while considering the candidature of an Ex-Servicemen candidate, which the respondents have not done, hence this is a fit case for imposition of costs. Thus, costs quantified at Rs. 50,000/- (fifty thousand) is also directed to be paid by the respondents to the present petitioner."

The High Court was hearing the Petitioner challenging his non-selection by the Respondent authority to the post of Junior Motor Vehicle Driver (Winch Operations) sought vide an advertisement. The Petitioner, an ex-serviceman, was required to submit a valid Equivalency Certificate and a valid Discharge Certificate for the position. The Petitioner could produce the former but the equivalence was not found in the Discharge Certificate which resulted in the non-consideration of the Petitioner for the post.

Averring that the only ground of rejection was whether he held a civil driving license or badge, the Petitioner contested that he had rectified all discrepancies in the documents within 7 days from being notified by the Respondent. Therefore, the Respondents ought to have considered the candidature of the Petitioner. Per contra, the Respondent insisted that the Petitioner was required to produce a valid Discharge Certificate which was not furnished. The Petitioner's Discharge Certificate did not show his proficiency with regard to a heavy vehicle, either.

Justice Nikhil Kariel primarily noted that the ex-serviceman had relied upon a certificate issued by the officer-in-charge Demob Battery/Artillery Depot Regime Nasik Road Camp of the Indian Army which was equivalent to the civil trade of a driver of a bus/truck. The Bench recognised that the bone of contention was not the equivalence mentioned in the certificate but rather the proficiency regarding heavy vehicle. In the later certificate produced by the Petitioner, there was an endorsement of "yes" by authorities for the heavy vehicle. Additionally, the Discharge Certificate was required to be shown to prove the due discharge of the Petitioner from the Armed Forced and the same could have been looked into by the Respondents. The Bench remarked:

"…if there was any discrepancy, since the respondent authorities also being an organization under the Government of India, more particularly, having regard to the noble object for which a reservation had been kept in the advertisement itself for Ex-servicemen i.e. to provide a means of livelihood for persons retiring from the Armed Forces, commensurate with their qualification and experience, the aspect of the discrepancy ought to have been sought to be clarified by the respondents from the Armed Forces."

Accordingly, the Bench deemed it fit to impose the fine and allowed the petition.

Case Title: Chauhan Mahmadrafik Abdul Latif Versus Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Limited Through Authorized Person

Case No.: C/SCA/2816/2021


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