P&H HC | Not possessing essential qualification is no ground for termination of service when skill to work is upto mark

Punjab and Haryana High Court: A Division Bench of Rajiv Sharma and Harinder Singh Sidhu JJ., set aside the decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal on the basis of the principle of law.

A writ petition was filed against the order of Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh, where the order challenging the termination was dismissed.

The brief facts were that the Recruitment Cell of the Post Graduate Institute of the Medical Education & Research (PGI) issued advertisement inviting online applications for recruitment to various posts including Technician Grade-IV. The petitioner who had eight-year experience applied for the same post under the Schedule Caste category. As per the procedure, the petitioner submitted the documents for scrutiny. As a part of the selection procedure, the petitioner and other candidates were asked to perform the technical work in which the petitioner secured highest marks and thus was thereby appointed.  But on the complaint of one of the other candidate, the appointment was challenged on the ground of not having the basic qualification. Thereby it was reported by the committee formed by the respondent that experience certificate was true and genuine but it was found that petitioner did not possess the qualification for the said post and on this ground, the services of the petitioner were terminated. Thus, this writ petition.

High Court opined that there was no allegation of any misrepresentation on the part of the petitioner also there was no observation that he was lacking in skills or that his work at PGI was not up to the standards.  The Court cited the judgment of M.S. Mudhol v. S.D. Halegkar, (1993) 3 SCC 591, in which it was held that where there was no misrepresentation by a candidate, and despite his not possessing the qualifications he had been appointed and had worked for a considerable time it would be iniquitous to disturb him. Thus the petition was allowed as the petitioner had worked there for more than a year and thus the petitioner was directed to be reinstated in the service with all consequential benefits.[Varinder Hans v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1343, decided on 31-07-2019]

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