Patna HC recently dismissed a writ petition filed by the final year students of Chanakya National Law University, Patna. The petition challenged an advertisement issued by the Bihar Public Service Commission for the position of the Assistant Prosecution Officer.
In the said case, the petitioners, Piyush Kamal, Himanshu Gupta, Amresh Kumar, and Manish Kumar went to the HC seeking permission to apply for the said post. However, the advertisement specified that the applicants must be law graduates on the date of application.
The deadline for the application was before the day on which the law graduates would have obtained their respective law degrees. The last day of the application was March 06 whereas the students would be law graduates post April when their final examinations would be conducted. The petitioners based their petition on the fact that they would be law graduates by the time of appointment.
They pointed out that the relevant rules prescribed that the Assistant Prosecution Officer must be a law graduate. However, the rules were silent as regards to the selection process. Their main line of argument was that the qualification of being a law graduate was a prerequisite for the appointment and not for the application stage. Hence, they argued that the advertisement must not restrict to-be law graduates from applying for the post.
The Patna HC held that the petitioners held no enforceable claim. It was decided that the date would be one as decided by the Government. The court relied on the judgment of Bhupinderlal Singh & Ors v State of Punjab & Ors. In this case, it was held that the cut-off date on which the eligibility requirement is to be satisfied is decided by the respective Service rules. In case of no cut-off date, the same would be appointed for this purpose in the Advertisement calling for applications.
The Court noted that
“In the instant case, the advertisement issued by the Commission prescribes at Note (4) that the candidates are required to possess their testimonials in support of requisite qualifications issued before 06.03.2020 being the last date for making applications failing which the candidate shall be cancelled.”
The High Court, therefore, dismissed the petition stating that the date of prescription in the advertisement cannot be faulted given the legal position.
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