Gauhati HC: Different Categories of Govt. Job Are Dealt With Different Qualities and Are Not Interchangeable

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The Petitioner filed a Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution. The Petitioner criticised the engagement of private Respondent nos. 8 to 12 as trainee Sahayaks and requested that the APDCL authorities, i.e., Respondent nos. 2 to 7, select and designate the Petitioner as Sahayak.

Facts of the Case 

The Petitioner argues that he completed the course at the Industrial Training Institute of Government of Assam (ITI for short) and passed the prescribed examination for the post of electrician. The Petitioner falls into the unreserved category. Through an advertisement for the job, Respondent No. 3 had issued a call for applications from qualified candidates for a total of 1064 positions.

APDCL employed 73 Sahayaks, with 73 of them working for the Kokrajhar Electrical Circle. The Petitioner applied for the same position. Later the Petitioner was called to appear in the physical fitness test. The interview got cancelled without any notice or explanation, and the authorities sent a new re-examination call letter, instructing candidates to reappear for a physical fitness test and interview. Later the Respondent no. 4 issued the selection list of candidates for training. 

Petitioner’s Arguments

Learned Counsel representing the Petitioner argued that the Petitioner obtained 65 marks out of 100 marks. His name was mentioned at serial no. 95 in the selection list. The Petitioner’s name was left out even after he got more marks than Respondent no. 8,9 and 10. Also, Respondent no.12 was selected out of the merit list even though he had lesser experience than the Petitioner. The temporary workers were expected to have experience as workers engaged in any power utility, according to the job’s advertisement, but 53 out of 73 selected applicants had not submitted an experience certificate provided by a power utility company.

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The Petitioner pleaded that the selection of the Respondents is set aside. Petitioner defending the petition mentions the fact that if selection and appointment of any person from Category B is interfered with, then there is a possibility that in order of merit, the person from Category-A might get an opportunity to be appointed for a Category-B job. Therefore, the present Writ Petition was found to be maintainable given the fact were peculiar to the present case in hand. 

Respondent’s Arguments

Learned Counsel representing the Respondent argued that since the applicant holds an ITI certificate and falls under Category-A, he was unable to appeal the appointments made to private Respondents under Category-B. It was also said that the merit list issued before was incorrect because it had been cancelled and superseded by the subsequent select list, which was annexed to their affidavit-in-opposition as Annexure-1.

The Respondent mentioned the fact that the petition is maintainable but there is an excess of parties being sued. Like Respondent no. 8 to12. The selection of applicants is found to be neither arbitrary nor in violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. Furthermore, the complainant has not attached a copy of any record to prove that Respondent no.12 has not submitted his experience certificate, so the claim is unsupported.

Court’s Judgement

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The Court observed that the petitioner has not annexed any document to support the argument made by his learned counsel, as such, the selection and appointment of the private respondents cannot be tinkered with in the absence of any adverse material on record. Respondent nos. 2 to 7 are entitled to a degree of selection and appointment independence because they are mindful of their requirements when posting job openings.

There is no question that this was a new recruitment campaign, and as such, it is understandable that the APDCL decided to offer outsourced temporary staff from third parties/vendors a chance to work for the APDCL as a beneficial employer.

The Court is of the considered opinion that the conduct of the respondent nos. 2 to 7 in selecting and appointing private respondents nos. 8 to 12 based on certificates countersigned by the AGM, which was in accordance with the advertisement’s terms and conditions, was without flaw. No violation of Article 14 i.e. the right to equality was hampered during the process. Therefore, the court ordered the writ petition to dismiss.


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