No Lenient View in Cases of Violation of Mandatory Instructions, Even in Cases Regarding OBC: Himachal Pradesh HC

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Excerpt

The Complainant filed a Writ Petition for Mandamus as he was disqualified for not having the documents needed to apply for a job of Himachal Pradesh Police Constable. The Petitioner was not allowed to give an exam meant to test his eligibility for the said job.

The Petitioner demanded that the concerned authority allow him to take the test from which he was barred from.

Brief Facts

The Government of Himachal Pradesh put out an advertisement in 2019 inviting candidates for numerous posts of Police Constables. The advertisement mentioned all the requirements for eligibility to apply for the post. This included Himachali bonafide and Reserve Category certificates that should be valid on the date of submission of Application Form.

The Petitioner is from OBC and applied for the post reserved for the said category. However, the OBC certificate of the candidate was issued on 28.09.2017 and was valid for one year from the date it was issued. The certificate of the Petitioner had already expired on the date he applied for the post. Further, the Petitioner gave the preliminary tests and qualified the physical standard and written test held by the Respondents on 8.9.2019. Thereafter, he was called for a personality test scheduled for 5.11.2019. Meanwhile, the Petitioner obtained a fresh OBC certificate dated 29.6.2019 and procured it before his test and produced it before the Court.

The Petitioner was barred from sitting in the exam because his OBC certificate was expired even before the date he applied for the post. Subsequently, the Petitioner reached the Court and prayed to be considered as an eligible candidate. Also, the Petitioner has asked for re-examination for the Personality-cum-Suitability test.

Petitioner’s Arguments

Learned Counsel for the Petitioner stated that the certificate dated 29.6.2019, which was valid on that day and was effective till 28.6.2020 was produced to the Court on the day of the test. Thus, his disqualification is not valid.

Respondent’s Arguments

Learned Counsel for the Respondent stated that it was mandatory to provide a valid certificate during the time of registration but the Petitioner submitted an invalid certificated that was expired. Thus, he has not maintained the requirements for eligibility.

Court’s Observations

The Court observed that indeed that candidate failed to fulfil the requirements for applying for the said post. Also, the authorities can not work on their discretion based on their wishes and have to abide by the conditions.

However, the Court mentioned several precedents dealing with similar matters. The Court quoted the case of Ram Kumar Gijroya Vs. Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board. The case held that the certificates provided by an OBC can be considered even after the cut- of date. But, the Court found the situation of the cases to be very different from each other and thus, the precedent was not applied to this case.

The Court quoted the same case of Karn Singh Yadav Vs. Government of NCT of Delhi that was referred to a larger Bench than before. The Bench held that:

”No lenient view in cases of violation of mandatory instructions cannot be taken as it can be treated as precedent by various other candidates, who might have also been disqualified for the same reason.”

The Bench mentioned a precedent holding a synonymous opinion as to the earlier Bench.

Court’s Judgement

Based on the aforementioned grounds, the Court found no merit in the Petitioner’s petition and dismissed it. Thereby, the Court held the decision of the Government to reject the Petitioner’s application valid.


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