Uttarakhand High Court Ensures That Petitioners Are Not Wronged With Because of the Violation of an Established Rule

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Writ Petition (S/S) No. 523 of 2021

IN THE HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND AT NAINITAL

Excerpt

The petitioners filed the case before the honourable court to seek relief because of a notification issued by the opposition because of which their candidature for the post of Staff nurse would stand null and void. The court after due consideration of the arguments of both sides ruled in favour of the petitioners.

Facts

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In the present case, the petitioners have approached the court seeking several reliefs opposing Clause-2 of the notification issued by the respondents on 02-02-2021. This notification makes the petitioners un-eligible to apply for the appointment of a Staff nurse. The petitioners have prayed before the court to issues writs in the form of a writ of certiorari to quash Clause-2 of the same notification under question and the writ of mandamus to declare that the petitioners are suitable for being considered for the recruitment process of the Staff nurse. 

Petitioner’s Arguments

The learned counsel for the petitioners filed for the writ of certiorari on the ground that the said Clause-2 of the notification was violative of the Rule-5 of the Uttarakhand Recruitment to Services (Age Limit) Rules, 2004. Under this notification, 01-01-2020 was fixed as a cut-off date for the determination of the minimum and maximum age of the candidates for the recruitment to services. This was therefore the primary contention of the petitioners that the cut-off date to calculate age, according to the URSR, has to be computed on the first day of July of each year which in this case was completely violated. Therefore, the learned counsel submitted that the date for computation of the age should be 01-07-2021 as opposed to 01-01-2020 because the advertisement was published on 03-02-2021. 

Furthermore, the petitioner also contended that a writ of mandamus is issued to declare the petitioners as valid applicants for the selection/recruitment on the post of Staff nurse. The learned counsel on behalf of the petitioners also prayed for issuance of any other writ that the court deemed necessary and to award the cost of the writ petition in the favour of the petitioners. 

Respondent’s Arguments

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The learned senior counsel appearing for respondent no.5 in the case opposed the opposite counsel’s arguments with a reference to a Government order which stated that for the vacancies of 2020, the computation date would be 01-01-2020. However, in this instant case, the advertisement for the vacancy was posted on 03-02-2021 and the same was posted after cancelling the previous advertisement which made the process of recruitment based on the new advertisement. Moreover, the examination was set to be conducted on 18-04-2021. 

When questioned by the court over this lapse by both the state government and respondent no.5, the learned chief standing counsel sought time to respond to the issue at hand. After due consideration with the other respondents, the learned Chief standing counsel for the respondents stated that the state government would postpone the examination which was supposed to be held on 18-04-2021, and also re-fix the cut-off date for determining the age. 

In addition to this, respondent no. 5, namely the Uttarakhand Board of Technical Education, would publish an amended advertisement and allow 15 days for the candidates to submit their applications for the same wherein the candidates who had previously applied will not be required to apply again. 

Court’s Observations

The court primarily observed that the new advertisement posted on 03-02-2021 had been posted after cancelling the previous advertisement for the vacancies in 2020 which was the basis of the argument for the respondents. Therefore, the court made sure that the same was answered before the honourable court by the honourable chief standing counsel for the respondents. 

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Secondly, when the chief standing counsel for the respondents suggested a date to be used as a re-fix for the cut-off date, the learned counsel for petitioners contended that the suggested date would further be in the contravention of the Uttarakhand Recruitment of Service (Age Limit) Rules, 2004 (Rule 5). Therefore, the court intervened and observed that the new date would be as per the Uttaranchal Subordinate Nursing (Non-Gazetted) Service Rules, 2015. 

Also, the court made sure that respondent no. 5 on behalf of their counsel would submit that the suggested date would also be as per the Uttaranchal Promotion by Selection in Consultation with Public Service Commission (Procedure) Rules, 2003. 

Court’s Decision 

The court ruled out that the amends suggested by the Chief standing counsel for the respondents be carried out. In regards to the issue of the new suggestive date to re-fix the cut-off procedure, the court stated that the issue would remain open. The court stated that if any issue arises later on with regards to this matter, the parties would be free to agitate before the State government or the respondent no. 5. Therefore, the court disposed of the writ petition. 

Click here to read the judgment 


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