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Calcutta High Court dismisses PIL challenging ad for recruitment of professors

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The Calcutta High Court has recently dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the advertisement dated January 27, 2021, wherein the respondent University had advertised 106 posts of professor, associate professor and assistant professor on the allegation that there were anomalies for reservation against each category of vacant posts.

According to the PIL filed by one Baidyanath Saha, no reservation roster was published prior to the issuance of the advertisement.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj found that the petitioner has not disclosed his credentials except by stating that he has no direct pecuniary interest in the matter and that he is a socially committed law abiding citizen.

“It is the settled position of law that in service matters, PIL is not maintainable. The persons, if any, affected by the advertisement can always file the appropriate petition or approach the appropriate forum questioning the same”

-observed the Court.

In the matter of Girjesh Shrivastava and Others vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Others reported in (2010) 10 SCC 707 where in a Public Interest Litigation, allegation of non-issuance of proper advertisement for reservation for ex-servicemen was made, the Supreme Court taking note of the legal position in respect of maintainability of the PIL.

Also Read: Supreme Court dismisses plea by advocate, convicted for acid attack, for suspension of sentence

The Counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of Dr Meera Massey (Mrs) Dr Abha Malhotra Dr. S.C. Bhadwal and Others Vs. Dr S.R. Mehrotra and Others reported in (1998) 3 SCC 88

On this the Court further observed that not only in the case of Girjesh Shrivastava (supra) and a number of earlier judgments noted therein but also subsequently in the matter of Madan Lal v. High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Others reported in (2014) 15 SCC 308 , the Apex Court held that except for a writ of quo warranto, public interest litigation is not maintainable in service matters.

“Hence, we are of the opinion that the petitioner is not entitled to benefit of the judgment in the matter of Dr. Meera Massey (supra) and that the present Public Interest Petition raising a dispute relating to service matter cannot be held to be maintainable which is accordingly dismissed, however, making it clear that this order will not come in the way of the parties affected from alleged irregularity from approaching the competent Court”

-the order reads.

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