29 Sep 2023 11:18 AM GMT
Recently, the Supreme Court had issued notice in an appeal challenging the Delhi High Court’s Order, wherein the Court had refused to interfere with the criteria for fixing the minimum qualifying marks in viva voce for the post of Junior Judicial Assistant/Restorer (Group-C). The Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia noted that for the post of Junior...
Recently, the Supreme Court had issued notice in an appeal challenging the Delhi High Court’s Order, wherein the Court had refused to interfere with the criteria for fixing the minimum qualifying marks in viva voce for the post of Junior Judicial Assistant/Restorer (Group-C).
The Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia noted that for the post of Junior Judicial Assistant/ Restorer to have a percentage of interview marks of 25 out of 125 would amount to 20 per cent weightage for an interview which is carried out by three Registrars of the Court. Furthermore, minimum interview marks have also been provided. The Court also noted that the candidates got an average of five minutes for the interview.
In view of the same, the Court was of the opinion that it will need to examine whether the aforesaid kind of conditions can be provided for in post of this nature.
Factual Background and Case History
Applicants for the post of Junior Judicial Assistant/Restorer (petitioners) assailed the viva voce test result for appointment for the said post. Pertinently, they were unsuccessful in qualifying for the appointment to the said posts on the basis of their viva voce result which was below the minimum qualifying marks as stipulated. It is the case of petitioners that the criteria for fixing the minimum qualifying marks in viva voce is perverse.
When the matter was first placed before the Delhi High Court, the Court noted that the minimum qualifying marks prescribed for the category in which the petitioners had appeared was ‘11’ and the petitioners have secured marks less than ‘11’ and as such have been declared unsuccessful. Further, it was observed that the advertisement stipulated four stages through which the candidate had to pass prior to being considered for the post. Also, it is an admitted position that the petitioners have all qualified three stages, however, at the fourth stage they were unsuccessful having scored below the stipulated minimum qualifying marks.
Reliance was placed upon the ration laid down by the Delhi High Court itself in Karan Singh Meena Vs. Registrar General, W.P. (C) No. 13881/2019, i.e, after having participated in the selection process, the candidate cannot challenge same after he has been declared unsuccessful.
In this backdrop, the Court opined that the petitions filed by the petitioners would not be maintainable as they have only challenged the criteria after participating in the selection process and being declared unsuccessful.
Supreme Court’s ORder
Inter-alia, the Court also noted that the irony of the situation is apparent from the fact that the petitioner would otherwise fall in a category of OBC having the highest marks but for the disqualification on not getting minimum marks of 11 and getting 10 marks.
Based on these facts and circumstances, the Court granted an interim direction for appointment of the petitioner and directed that the necessary formalities shall be completed within 15 days from the date of order.
Notwithstanding the same, the Court clarified that the appointment will be made subject to the final judgment in the matter and listed the matter on November 07, 2023.
It may also be noted that recently Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has reserved its judgement in the batch of petitions raising the issue of whether the ‘rules of the game’ can be changed after the selection process for posts has begun. The bench consisted of Chief Justice of India Dr DY Chandrachud, Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Justice PS Narasimha, Justice Pankaj Mithal, and Justice Manoj Misra.
Case Status: AALMA v. Delhi High Court, Special Leave to Appeal (C) No(s). 22134/2022
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