The Allahabad High Court allowed Class IV ‘CCC’ Diploma holders (till December 2021) employees to sit in the Computer Assistant post recruitment examination to be held on April 10.
A single-judge Bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Devendra Pal Singh And 16 Others.
The 17 petitioners have been working as Class IV employees in the High Court for the last many years with bona fide and legitimate expectations to appear in the Departmental Examination for the post of Computer Assistant by way of promotion amongst the Class IV employees. The process of recruitment was initially started by issuing notice by the Establishment Section of the Court on 21.12.2020 under the provisions of “The Allahabad High Court Officers and Staff (Conditions of Service and Conduct) Rules, 1976”.
Subsequently, a decision was taken to cancel the said notification and in this regard, a notice was issued on 28.9.2021. In between, under the powers conferred by Clause (ii) of Article 229 of the Constitution of India, the Chief Justice was pleased to make amendments in the Allahabad High Court Officers and Staff Conditions Rules, 1976 whereby Clause (ii) of Rule 8 (a) (i) of the ‘Rules 1976’ was amended.
The reason to cancel the first notice appears to be the above referred amendment. No doubt, the minimum knowledge of computers is not only necessary nowadays but it is essential also, the Court observed.
In pursuance of the aforesaid amendment, a fresh notice was issued by the High Court on 28.9.2021 for filling up 17 vacant posts in the cadre of Computer Assistant with the condition that eligible candidates are required to fill up application in a prescribed format and a form was required to be submitted w.e.f 28.9.2021 to 19.10.2021, during office hours along with documents that they are eligible as per ‘Rule 1976’ as amended.
The petitioners also applied for the said post and submitted their forms. As soon the petitioners came to know about the amendment as well as the requirement of additional qualification of ‘CCC’ Certificate / Diploma/Degree in Computer Science from a recognized Institute established by Law in India, they pursue the course of ‘CCC’ Certificate and it is a case of the petitioners that they presently possessed requisite certificate by December, 2021.
On 7.4.2021, while hearing the writ petition, the Court has asked Sameer Sharma, Senior Counsel assisted by Bushra Maryam appearing on behalf of High Court to take instructions whether as an interim measure at least, 11 petitioners who have possessed the ‘CCC’ Certificate qualification by December, 2021, be allowed to appear in exam. However, Sameer Sharma, Senior Counsel has fairly submitted that he has not received any positive response in this regard.
In these circumstances, the Court heard R.K Ojha, Senior Counsel assisted by Shivendu Ojha, counsel for petitioners and Sameer Sharma, Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of High Court, specifically, in regard to the interim relief which could be granted to petitioners only on the ground that they have possessed ‘CCC’ Certificate in December, 2021 i.e well before the date of examination i.e 10.4.2022, the Court said.
The Court is conscious about the various judgments passed by the Court as well as by the Supreme Court latest being the State of Bihar and Others vs Madhu Kant Ranjan & Others; 2021 SCC Online SC 1262 with regard to the requirement to possess all eligible qualifications as on the date of advertisement, if not extended by specific order. However, while exercising the jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the Court could exercise its discretion to consider the case of these petitioners so that they can appear in examination, as an interim measure, subject to the final decision of the writ petition specifically considering the factors that first notification issued on 21.12.2020 was cancelled and before the fresh notification dated 28.9.2021 was issued, the amendment was carried out wherein eligibility of ‘CCC’ Certificate was added and also considering that petitioners are working as Class-IV employees who have legitimate expectations to appear in the examination for their better future prospects as well as the amendment in Act of the ‘Rules 1976’ was notified in the Gazette dated 27.3.2021, however, respondents have not been able to show that whether the prospective candidates, who are working in the Court, were made aware about the amendment with regard to the addition of an essential certificate which requires to complete a course which minimum requires three months. It is worth to note that during the last 6 months of 2021, there was a surge of COVID¬19 cases.
In these circumstances, the Court found that a case of interim relief is made out with regard to the above referred 11 candidates (Petitioner no 4 to 17).
Therefore, the Court directed that these petitioners will submit a true photocopy copy of their ‘CCC’ certificates duly self attested before 5:30 p.m today in the concerned office along with original for the purpose of verification. The Registrar General is directed to depute some persons in office between 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m today for this purpose and in case, certificates are found to be genuine, they shall be permitted to appear in the examination on 10.4.2022, the Court ordered.
The Court allowed the petition and heard finally on following issues:- “Whether considering that addition of a new eligibility qualification by way of amendment (in present case, CCC Certificate), a course of minimum three months in order to participate in a competitive examination for Class IV employees of the High Court for the posts in the cadre of Computer Assistant, requirement to possess all the qualifications including the amended qualification before the date of advertisement could be relaxed up to the date of examination due to the short timeline that amendment was carried out on 13.3.2021, date of advertisement was 28.9.2021 and the examination is scheduled on 10.4.2022 ?”
R.k. Ojha, Senior Counsel, on instructions, submitted that the writ petition be dismissed qua to petitioner nos1, 2, 3, 7, 13 & 14 with liberty to file a fresh writ petition.
The Court has fixed the final hearing of the petition on April 24, 2022.