Cancellation of candidature of an IIT Qualified engineer at the final stage of induction into Civil Services held disproportionate to bonafide omission

Delhi High Court: The Division Bench comprising of Rekha Palli and Hima Kohli, JJ., allowed an appeal and set aside the order passed by Principal Bench, Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi concerning the cancelling of candidature for Civil Services Examination 2017 by UPSC.

The present petition was filed under Article226/227 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner had qualified his preliminary and mains stage for Civil Services Examination, 2016. It was noticed that he had mentioned different date of births for both the stages and on reaching the interview stage he filed an affidavit by mentioning the correct date of birth in compliance to his matriculation certificate. Though he did not clear the interview and had further applied for CSE, 2017 in which he again repeated the same mistake, for which a show cause notice was issued to him and his response, was recorded for the same. But due to an unsatisfactory response, his candidature was cancelled for CSE, 2017.

Further, aggrieved by the circumstances and on approaching the tribunal he was allowed to appear for the interview but his final results thereafter were withheld due to the pendency of proceedings at tribunal. Tribunal dismissed petitioner’s OA by upholding the respondent’s decision to cancel his candidature for CSE 2017 on the ground that the mistake was not inadvertent, but a deliberate one. Therefore, the petitioner approached High Court for the dismissal of the same.

The High Court on analysing the circumstances and facts of the matter stated that the mistake on the part of the petitioner in mentioning the date of birth incorrectly has no bearing either on his eligibility for CSE, 2017 or the benefits liable to be derived by him if he ultimately clears the examination. “Error on the part of the petitioner could not be treated as a misrepresentation or suppression of facts.” Thus it was also stated by the Court that in circumstances where petitioner is an SC candidate and a qualified engineer from IIT, cancellation of his candidature at the final stage, would be punitive action, completely disproportionate to a bonafide omission on his part. The order of tribunal and UPSC was quashed and set aside. [Anuj Pratap Singh v. Union of India,2018 SCC OnLine Del 10982, decided on 04-09-2018]

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