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No Modification of Stay To Selection Process Can Be Granted if Challenge Strikes Root of Process: Sikkim High Court

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In Sonam Doma Lepcha vs State of Sikkim & Ors, the Sikkim High Court dealt with an interim application in a writ petition that required the modification of a stay on the selection process to the post of health educator/extension educator.


In the present case, the process with regard to the post of health educator/extension educator was completed without any written examination. As per the advertisement for the selection process, the candidates who qualified the written exam would be called for scrutiny and would then proceed to viva voce and interview.

A stay was granted by the Court on the selection process since no written exam has been conducted. An interim application to remove the stay has been filed.

Petitioner’s Arguments

The Petitioner submitted that the challenge was to the basis of the selection process which dispensed of a written exam although provided for and hence no modification of stay can be granted.

Respondent’s Arguments

The Respondent submitted that the Petitioner belonged to the primitive tribe for which one post is reserved in the category of health educator/extension educator. Therefore there is no justification for continuing the stay of the process for such a post. The written exam was dispensed of because only 12 candidates were eligible while 22 posts were available.

Court’s Decision and Conclusion

The Court observed that although the Petitioner contended for a post in the primitive tribe category, it could not be ignored that the challenge is broader and applies to the entire selection process by Sikkim Public Service Commission to all seats. The core issue went to the root of the matter and therefore the stay could not be modified.

The Court also considered the connected interim applications involved with the writ petition. An application to produce the list of candidates who had applied through the advertisement for the post under primitive tribe category was filed. However, the relevance of such interim prayer for the purpose of the writ was not proved and therefore the application was disposed of.

Another application that required the impleadment of the Department of Personnel, Administrative Reforms and Training (DOP) was disposed of observing that since the prayer for relaxation of age for the selection process is pending with DOP. The Court ordered consequent changes to the cause title to be made and to list the writ petition for hearing on merits.

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