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Patna High Court Stays Bihar Mining Corp's Move To Recruit Only CNLU Graduates As Law Officers

Sparsh Upadhyay
28 Feb 2022 6:36 AM GMT
Patna High Court Stays Bihar Mining Corps Move To Recruit Only CNLU Graduates As Law Officers
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The Patna High Court has stayed the selection process to the post of Law Officer in Bihar State Mining Corporation Limited. This order has come on a petition challenging the recruitment notification of the Corporation on the ground that it allowed only the law graduates from the Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU) to apply for the said post. The Bench of Justice P. B....

The Patna High Court has stayed the selection process to the post of Law Officer in Bihar State Mining Corporation Limited. This order has come on a petition challenging the recruitment notification of the Corporation on the ground that it allowed only the law graduates from the Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU) to apply for the said post. 

The Bench of Justice P. B. Bajanthri has posted the matter for further hearing on March 8 and has directed the petitioner to place on record the rules of recruitment to the post of Law Officer or executive order before the next date of hearing.

The background of the case

Essentially, the Mining Corporation Limited issued a letter to the CNLU Vice-Chancellor on December 16 for the purpose of engaging 10 law students for the post of Law Officer, pursuant to the same, the University administration informed its students about the said post and asked the interested students to apply by way of submitting their CVs and other details.

Aggrieved by the same, one Saurav Narayan, a law graduate of the Delhi University (Law Centre-I, Faculty of Law) sent a representation against this proposal to the CEO of the Corporation, however, no action was taken on the same and therefore, Narayan moved the High Court with his writ petition through Advocate Vishal Kumar Singh.

Before the Court, the petitioner claimed that even after graduating from one of the most prestigious universities of the nation, he cannot apply for the job as a law officer at Bihar State Mining Corporation, which is in a complete violation of the Fundamental Right to Equality enshrined under article 14 of Constitution of India.

Claiming that the proper procedure for the notification of appointment has not been followed by the Bihar State Mining Corporation, Government of Bihar, and claiming that the same is biased, the petitioner has challenged the selective procedure as one specific University has been given the benefit of applying and appointment thereon.

"...this entire process of notification of appointment is arbitrary and illegal, which deprives and excludes the Petitioner who had obtained LL.B. Degree from Delhi University, Delhi from competing for the post of Law Officer in the Bihar State Mining Corporation, Government of Bihar...," the plea avers as it argues that the decision to recruit law graduates of CNLU violates Article 15, 16 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

Against this backdrop, the plea prays thus:

  • Direct the Respondent Authorities to immediately revoke the offer letter dated 16.12.2021, wherein the Registrar of the CNLU has been requested to send a list of 10 Law Graduates from the University for appointment on the post of Law Officer in Bihar State Mining Corporation Limited.
  • Direct the Respondent Authorities to initiate fresh appointment process for the post of Law Officer in Bihar State Mining Corporation Limited which should be open for all candidates to apply irrespective of the University from where they have completed their Law degree.
  • Direction to the Respondent Authorities to ensure that the adequate reservation procedure is followed as per the guidelines issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the case of Indira Sawhney v. Union of India, A.I.R 1993 SC 477.

It may be noted that recently a similar petition was filed before the Patna High Court challenging the notification dated December 1, 2021, wherein 31 appointments had been made to the post of Legal Consultant by the Department of Excise, Prohibition and Registration, Government of Bihar on the ground that such a recruitment process was discriminatory as it allowed only law graduates from the Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU) to apply for the post.

Case title - Saurav Narayan v. State of Bihar and Anr.

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