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Allahabad HC says B.Tech, BCA candidates will qualify for Sugarcane Supervisor post even without CCC certificate

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The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court recently ruled that if the candidate has passed B. Tech or BCA in computer subjects then he/she will be considered qualified even if he/she does not have CCC (Course on Computer Concept) certificate.

The Court also dismissed a January 15, 2020 order of the Sugarcane and Sugar Commissioner in which candidates receiving computer education equivalent to the CCC certificate issued were not considered eligible for the post of Sugarcane Supervisor.

The order was passed by a Single-Judge Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh on a petition filed on behalf of Mohit Kumar and others.

The petitioners  approached the Court challenging the order dated on January 15, 2020 by which the Commissioner, Sugarcane and Sugar, Lucknow, has clarified that the candidates who possess equivalent qualification to CCC Certificate issued by DOEACC Society are not entitled to participate in the interview held for the post of Sugarcane Supervisor in pursuance to the advertisement No.20-Examination/2016.

Counsel for the petitioners submitted that an advertisement was issued on October 5, 2016 by Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Service Selection Commission inviting online applications for various posts including the post of Sugarcane Supervisor. The essential qualification for the post of Sugarcane Supervisor is graduation in Agricultural Science or any equivalent qualification along with CCC Certificate issued by DOEACC Society.

Counsel for the Petitioner has further submitted that earlier the state government vide order dated 3/6.05.2016 and order dated on September 23, 2016 had issued clarification with regard to the recognition of equivalent qualifications with ‘CCC’ Certificate for appointment on the post of Junior Assistant and the Stenographer and thereafter order dated July 05, 2018, it was clarified that the persons who possess Diploma in Computer, Degree in Computer, PGDCA, BCA, MCA and Graduation with B.A., B.Sc, B.Tech. , M.Sc., M.B.A., wherein Computer is one of the subjects or where computer is a course in one semester of the courses shall be deemed to be equivalent qualification to ‘CCC’ Certificate and shall be eligible for selection on the post of Junior Assistant, Stenographer and all other posts of public service of state government.

Counsel for the Petitioners further submitted that all the Petitioners being eligible candidates have submitted online applications for the post of Sugarcane Supervisor and after qualifying in written examination, they were called for interview in the office of U.P. Subordinate Service Selection Commission, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow but they were refused to participate in the interview on the ground that they do not have requisite qualification.

The State Counsel has submitted that the selection/appointment for the post of Sugarcane Supervisor, only ‘CCC’ Certificate issued by the DOEACC Society is mandatory and compulsory requirement. The other certificate issued by other agency equivalent to the ‘CCC’ Certificate is not acceptable. The Petitioners have not possessed ‘CCC’ Certificate issued by the DOEACC Society and, therefore, they could not be allowed to participate in the interview of the cane supervisor.

The State Counsel further submitted that Rule 9 of the Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane Supervisor (Category-III) Service (Second Amendment) Rules, 2015 provides that for the post of Sugarcane Supervisor, only ‘CCC’ Certificate issued by DOEACC Society is mandatory and, therefore, the authority has rightly denied the petitioners to participate in the interview as the petitioners have not possessed ‘CCC’ Certificate issued by DOEACC Society.

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The State Government has issued the Government Order dated July 05, 2018 in respect of selection of the Junior Assistant and Stenographer in which the guidelines have been provided with regards to equivalency of ‘CCC’ Certificate issued by DOEACC Society with other certificates and courses whereas in the instant case, no such guidelines have been issued.

Hence, the impugned order dated January on 15, 2020 has rightly been passed by the Commissioner, Sugarcane and Sugar, Lucknow, the Court ordered.

The qualification of CCC as an expertise in the computer application which, as matter of fact, is nothing but a most preliminary knowledge in the field concerned. In other words, it can be said that requirement of the employer was to have the persons at least with minimum knowledge of computer concepts and the person applying must be computer literate, the Court said.

As per the judgments rendered by Apex Court, it is substantially clear that ordinarily a subordinate legislation cannot be given retrospective effect but a clarification/notification can be given retrospective effect.

The Government Order dated July 05, 2018 is clarificatory in nature and, therefore, it can be given retrospective effect. In the present case, the Petitioners are the persons who possessed equivalent certificate of ‘CCC’ issued by other recognized institution wherein basic knowledge of computer operation is warranted, but that has not been taken into consideration.

“The candidates who can provide conclusive evidence that they have education or experience at least equal to what is required by the minimum qualifications deserve careful consideration, even if their degrees have titles different from those recognized in the disciplines list or if they acquired their qualifications by a route other than a conventional one, if equivalency were not an option, some fully qualified candidates would not receive consideration. The authority to determine equivalent qualifications is not a license for a State or Employer to waive or lower standards and accept less than qualified individuals. The fact that a particular candidate is the best does not change the requirement and he/ she possess qualifications at least equal to the published minimum qualifications”, the order reads.

In light of above facts the Court while allowing the Petitions ordered that ,”For the discussions made herein above, a writ of certiorari is issued quashing the order dated January 15, 2020 passed by the Commissioner, Sugarcane and Sugar, U.P., Lucknow. The respondents are directed to allow the Petitioners to participate in the interview to be held in pursuance of the Advertisement No.20-Examination/2016 and consider the candidature of the Petitioners on merit in accordance with law”

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