Del HC | En masse cancellation of candidature not desirable; petitioner directed to be appointed as ‘Chowkidar’

Delhi High Court: The Division Bench of S. Muralidhar and Sanjeev Narula, JJ. addressed a petition concerning the aggrieved not being offered appointment in spite of clearing the required stages of the selection process.

In the present case, a recruitment notification was issued for various posts including that of ‘Chowkidar’ for which the petitioner had applied. Petitioner had cleared the examination successfully and on clearing the same he was asked to produce the relevant documents for verification. Petitioner after a long wait had sent out a legal notice on not receiving the appointment letter. Later, the petitioner was informed that fresh recruitment process would be initiated shortly due to ‘procedural anomalies’. All of the stated facts and circumstances led the petitioner to file the present petition.

Learned counsel for the petitioner, Abhishek K. Choudhary stated that petitioner is on the top of the merit list and had successfully qualified for the post of ‘Chowkidar’ and in respect of respondent’s reasoning for the cancellation of the entire selection process which also included non-holding of a typing test was of no relevance in the petitioner’s case.

Therefore, the High Court on considering the submissions of both the parties concluded by a reasoned order, stating that, “none of the discrepancies as noted from the internal communication appear to justify cancelling petitioner’s candidature.” In fact, the petitioner had provided required certificates/documents and he was not one of those candidates who misled in regard to the eligibility and number of vacancies.

Further, the Bench also relied on and cited two of the Supreme Court’s decision relevant to the present case, i.e. – Onkar Lal Bajaj v. Union of India, (2003) 2 SCC 673 in which it was held that “en masse cancellation was worse than the problem.” The other decision was of Joginder Pal v. State of Punjab, (2014) 6 SCC 644, where it was stated by the Apex Court that “importance of segregating the tainted candidates from the untainted ones and not en masse cancel the entire selection.”

Therefore, the High Court while setting aside the respondent’s decision of cancelling the petitioner’s candidature gave direction for the appointment of the petitioner as the ‘Chowkidar’. The petition was allowed in the above-stated terms. [Ravinder Sirohi v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 7041, Order dated 14-02-2019]

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