Staff Selection Commission cannot alter criteria for selection before the conduction of interview

Punjab and Haryana High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Rajiv Narain Raina, J., dealt with a case where the matter was to distinguish the judgment and order passed in case of Kashmir Chand Kamboj v. State of Haryana, 2015 SCC OnLine P&H 14518 which covered facts and law in favour of petitioner related to same advertisement and description of post.

Facts of the case were that the minimum scores for general category candidate was 200/400 and for OBC was 180/400. After the results were declared a resolution was issued by Haryana Staff Selection Commission whereby the minimum marks was decreased with a purpose to call 3 times the number of candidates for the interview. This affected the candidates who secured the earlier assigned minimum marks. Court referred the case of T.N. Computer Science B.Ed Graduate Teachers Welfare Society (I) v. Higher Secondary School Computer Teachers Assn. , 2009 (14) SCC 517 wherein it was held that recruitment guidelines are sacrosanct and should be followed. In view of the above, High Court concluded that after eligibility criteria had already been issued then Commission cannot alter the criteria before the interview. But since, in Kashmir Chand Kamboj case selection was not set aside and thus, he was entitled to the post of Assistant Engineer (Civil) in the SC/OBC category.

In this case, petitioner belonged to OBC category and it was found that vacancies were available to accommodate petitioner if the petition succeed due to which Court allowed the petition and directed respondent to consider the appointment of petitioner. [Sohan Lal v. State of Haryana, 2018 SCC OnLine P&H 1532, decided on 04-10-2018]

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