Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Patna High Court dismisses plea challenging selection of Constable in Bihar Police, Bihar Special Armed Police

The Patna High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the notification issued for selection of candidates to the post of constables in the Bihar Police and Bihar Special Armed Police.

The PIL is filed by one Satyam Abhishek. There are about 21,391 vacancies in total for which the advertisement  is issued. The contention raised in the petition is with respect to the qualification stipulation having been related to 01.08.2022. It is the contention that as of now many persons would have qualified in the intermediate courses ( 10 + 2 courses) in the   academic year 2022-23, just concluded. The petitioner contends that the cut-off date prescribed for the purpose of acquisition of qualification eliminates a number of candidates who would have qualified to apply for the post in the year 2023. It is alleged that the said prescription would interfere with the equality guaranteed in public employment.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice  K. Vinod Chandran and Justice Partha Sarthy perused the records and also heard the learned Advocate General (AG) appearing for the respondents. The AG at the first instance pointed out that the prescription of the cut-off date was in consonance of the decision of the Bihar Government to prescribe the age limit also as on that date, which is evident from Clause 17 of the advertisement. The age prescription is to be verified as on 01.08 2022 for every category of persons applying for selection and so is the educational requirements related to that date.
The Bench do not find any arbitrariness in fixing a cut-off date for acquisition of qualification and also satisfying the stipulation as to upper and minimum age limit. It is for the Appointing Authority to determine such things and if there is no colourable exercise or arbitrariness; the Court cannot set aside such stipulations. 
“We have to keep in mind that the State, the Appointing Authority is better placed to decide on such stipulations and when the application was brought out on 09.06.2023, there is nothing unfair in stipulating a prior date; that too in the immediate prior year for the purpose of acquisition of qualification and satisfying the stipulation of age. We also notice that the petitioner does not have a case that the stipulation in any manner disables him from the candidature.”
The Bench find no reason to invoke our extraordinary jurisdiction in public interest. The High Court  dismissed the  petition in limine (at the beginning).


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