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Odisha High Court: Any Card Holder Adjudged as ‘Destitute’ and Given 5 Points in the Selection Process of Anganwadi Worker

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The petitioner seeks to quash the order passed by the Additional District Magistrate in respect of selection as an Anganwadi worker.


Respondent no.3 issued an advertisement for the post of Anganwadi worker. In response to the advertisement, the petitioner applied for the post. In the final result of the selection for the post of Anganwadi Worker, it was found that the petitioner has secured the highest marks in the H.S.C. examination. Respondent no.4 also secured higher qualification marks. But the Respondent no.2 selected Respondent no.4 as an Anganwadi worker by giving an additional 5 per cent marks for her being AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) Card Holder. Challenging the selection of Respondent no.4, the petitioner appealed before Additional District Magistrate. The appeal got dismissed. Therefore, the petitioner filed a petition with the court.

Petitioner’s Arguments

The Learned Counsel representing the petitioner contended that the selection of the Respondent no.4 is based on the AAY Card of her mother. There is no provision under the revised guidelines for granting an extra 5 per cent to the AAY Cardholder. It further argued that the appellate authority while considering the appeal found Respondent no.4 as ‘destitute’ ignoring the government guidelines. where it is specifically mentioned in para-3 included in paragraph- ‘C’. Therefore, pleads to quash the order of the appellate authority. 

Respondent’s Arguments

The Learned Counsel representing the respondents contended that according to the revised guidelines provided by the authority, the opposite party no.4 falls under the definition of “destitute” since she holds an “AAY” passport. The Learned Counsel produced documents regarding the definition of ‘destitution’ in the dictionary, case laws and government circulars. The Learned Counsel mentions the fact that a destitute is one in great need, especially of food, clothing and lodging. It is argued that since opposite party no.4 is a ‘destitute’ woman, she is entitled to preferential treatment and, as a result, the selection committee is justified in selecting and employing her as an Anganwadi worker by awarding her an extra five per cent based on the paper. Using the same analogy, The Learned Counsel further argued that the Additional District Magistrate was well justified in denying the petitioner’s appeal. 

Court’s Judgement

The Court observed that Respondent no.4 is a ‘Destitute’ referring to the Government circulars issued and therefore ‘AAY’ card was handed over to her mother. As a result, the selection committee’s decision to give five extra points to the opposite party no. 4 because of the AAY card cannot be considered unconstitutional. The District Magistrate has not done anything unlawful or irregular in passing the order that would cause this Court to intervene at this stage. Therefore, The Court ordered that the writ petition is dismissed. However, there shall be no order as to costs. 

Click here to read Pranati Mohapatra vs. Add. District Magistrate. is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgment from courts. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can subscribe to our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

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