Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of S. Muralidhar and Talwant Singh, JJ. allowed the petitioner –a law graduate — to appear for the Judge Advocate General (JAG) interview by rounding off his marks.
A notification was published by the Indian Army calling upon law graduates to apply online for JAG after selection by Service Selection Board (SSB) through interview. The eligibility criterion was 55% marks in a recognised degree in law. The petitioner completed his B.A. LL.B scoring 54.95% marks. In view of the minimum eligibility criterion of 55%, the petitioner was unable to fill-up the online form. According to the petitioner, a difference of a mere 0.05% should not prevent him from applying for JAG.
Pranay Jain and Ajay Singh, Advocates represented the petitioner. Per contra, the Union of In did was represented by Anil Soni, Central Government Standing Counsel.
The High Court noted that the principle of “rounding off” has been recognised in law in a number of decisions. Reliance was placed on State of U.P. v. Pawan Kumar Tiwari, (2005) 2 SCC 10 and State of Punjab v. Asha Mehta, (1997) 11 SCC 410.
Following the well-established principles, the High Court directed the respondents to treat the 54.95% marks secured by the petitioner in the LL.B, examination on the principle of rounding off as 55%, thus making him eligible to apply for the JAG Branch, Special Entry Scheme. It was further directed that within a period of 4 weeks, the respondents will either open an online portal to enable the petitioner to fill up the form by indicating the percentage of marks obtained by him as 55% or alternatively, the respondents will permit the petitioner to submit his application manually indicating the percentage of the marks obtained in the LL.B. degree as 55%. The writ petition was disposed of in the terms above.[Ajay Singh v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 9915, decided on 27-08-2019]