The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the appointment of 8 judicial officers in Bihar.
The Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) had rejected the candidature of candidates on the issue of non-submission of original certificate on the date of interview. The Division Bench of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Vikram Nath have termed it improper, unjustified and not warranted.
For recruitment of 349 posts of Civil Judge (Junior Division), the Bihar Public Service Commission issued an Advertisement No. 6 of 2018, dated 23.8.2018 for conducting 30th Bihar Judicial Services Examination.
After conducting the Screening Test, Written Test and Interview, the Commission vide letter dated 02.12.2019 recommended names of 349 candidates in order of merit. According to the figures available, out of the 349 recommended candidates, four candidates did not turn up for counselling. As such appointment letters were issued on different dates from January, 2020 to December, 2020 to 345 candidates. Further out of these 345 candidates, three candidates did not turn up for joining. As such the candidature of seven candidates was cancelled by the State Government vide orders issued on different dates. The Appellants had admittedly secured higher marks than the last selected candidates in their respective categories but the Commission had cancelled their candidature for want of fulfillment of the conditions required as per the interview call letter.
One of the conditions required was to submit the originals of certificates detailed therein which included educational certificates, caste certificates if claiming any benefit of reservation, No Objection Certificates of previous employer, Character Certificate of the last attended College/University and other certificates of residence etc. at the time of interview. Some of the candidates could not produce the original Certificates as required, as a result of which their candidatures were cancelled by the Commission vide their meeting dated 27.11.2019. In its 102nd meeting the Commission organised on 27.11.2019, the eligibility of the candidates on the basis of their educational certificates, mark sheets, documents etc. presented at the time of the interview which was conducted in between the dates of 21.10.2019 to 27.10.2019 under the 30th Bihar Judicial Service Examination (Advertisement No. 06/2018), the Commission examined the short comings and the nonfulfillment of the requirement of the production of the original documents/certificates at the time of the interview and after dealing with each of the candidates, found deficit in fulfilling the said requirement and cancelled the candidature of as many as 58 candidates for different reasons.
Some of these candidates approached the Patna High Court by way of different Writ Petitions, either singly or jointly. Division bench of the Patna High Court vide Judgment impugned did not find favour with such candidates and dismissed their petitions. Aggrieved by the Judgment of the Patna High Court, the present Special Leave Petitions have been preferred by eight candidates. It is not in issue that the ground for rejection of the candidature of these candidates was only and only non-production of the original Certificates. The Commission has admitted these eight Appellants before us have scored higher marks from the last selected candidates in their respective categories.
The Court mentioned that as per the conditions mentioned in the advertisement for any government employment, there is always a clause that in the certificate/testimonies, if information furnished by any candidate is found to be incorrect at a later stage, during any enquiry, the candidature for such candidates is liable to be cancelled. It is not the case of the respondent that any of these certificates referred to in the decision dated 27.11.2019 have been found to be incorrect. It is only this technical ground of not producing the original certificate at the time of the interview that the candidature of these appellants had been rejected even though they had scored higher marks in their respective category from the marks obtained by the last selected candidate.
“All the eight appellants who were duly qualified and duly selected have been deprived of their appointment as Judicial Officers. Admittedly, all the Appellants had secured more marks than the last selected candidate in their respective category. It is further submitted that even the High Court committed an error in dismissing their petitions”
-said the Court.
The Court have also taken note of the fact that there are vacancies available, which if filled up by meritorious candidates would only be an asset for the institution helping in disposal of cases pending in huge numbers.
The Court clarified that the eight appellants would be entitled to their respective seniority as per their merit; however, they would not be entitled to any arrears of salary for the intervening period, but would be entitled to the same from the date of their joining. They would be forthwith allowed to join. All incremental and other benefits of the intervening period would be notionally available to them, but no arrears would be paid .
“The appeals are accordingly allowed as above. The impugned decision of the Commission dated 27.11.2019 qua these appellants and the impugned judgments of the High Court are set aside. There shall be no order as to costs”
-the order reads.