The writ was allowed to quash the Notification passed by The Registrar General, High Court of Karnataka in the appointment of Deputy Registrar (Secretarial Services).
Facts regarding the Appointment of Deputy Registrars
The petitioners namely N Mahesha and Doreraj A K were appointed as Stenographer in 1990s on the establishment of High Court of Karnataka. Later, they were promoted to the cadre of Judgment Writer, Senior Judgment Writer and Assistant Registrar (Secretarial Services). Petitioners and 4 others were called for interview for the post of Deputy Registrar (Secretarial Services) on 01.09.2016, but they were not selected.
Later, to fill vacancies of Deputy Registrar on 07.11.2017 the then Acting Chief Justice appointed a Committee consisting of three Hon’ble Judges to carry out the selection process for filling up of two vacant posts in the cadre of Deputy Registrar (Secretarial Services). Along with petitioners, other six officers were called for an interview.
As per the resolution passed by Selection Committee prior to the interview, Respondents namely Rahimunnissa and P Jayakumar were selected on the basis of the marks obtained by the candidates in the interview and after scrutinizing the Annual Performance Reports for the last 5 years.
Arguments of the Counsel
Learned counsel for the petitioners vehemently contended that the petitioners are the seniors than the Respondents namely Rahimunnissa and P Jayakumar in the final seniority list of 2016 in the cadre of Assistant Registrar (Secretarial Services) and also submitted that in the process of selection to the post of Deputy Registrar (Secretarial Services), the official – respondents have not adhered to the Rules of Recruitment governing the post of Deputy Registrar (Secretarial Services) to the effect that seniority and order of preference to the Law Graduates has been ignored. Further, it was contended that Rules are silent in respect of holding interview and award of marks under various heads. Therefore, the Selection Committee has exceeded its jurisdiction in laying criteria like interview and fixation of marks and award of marks, they are abiding by the Rules governing the post of Deputy Registrar (Secretarial Services), in laying criteria like holding of interview and determining award of marks and minimum ten marks to each of the Members of the Committee are impermissible and contrary to Mode of Selection prescribed under Rules, 2013. The then Acting Chief Justice has authorized the Committee only for the purpose of selection of two Assistant Registrar (Secretarial Services) for promotion to the post of Deputy Registrar (Secretarial Services), neither Rules nor the then Acting Chief Justice has evolved the criteria relating to holding of interview and award of marks under various heads. Therefore, in the absence of Rules in respect of holding interview and award of marks under various heads by the Committee is without the authority of law. Thus the petitioner, feeling unsatisfied filed the writ petition praying to quash the notification.
Decision of the Court
The Court after hearing both the parties allowed the writ petition and came to the view that the Selection Committee laying down the criteria of holding of interview, fixation of 30 marks and allotment of 10 marks to each of the member for award of marks to the candidates, who have appeared for the interview for the post of Deputy Registrar (Secretarial Services), is without authority of law, since Rules, 2013 do not provide for holding of interview and award of marks by the Selection Committee. Therefore, the order of promotion was set aside.
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