Uttarakhand High Court: Lok Pal Singh, J., dismissed a writ petition filed seeking writ in the nature of certiorari quashing the Office Order and further writ in the nature of mandamus commanding and directing the respondent 3 to give joining to the petitioners as per the merit list on the post of Junior Engineer (Electrical and Mechanical Group) in Power Transmission Corporation of Uttarakhand Ltd. and Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd.

Petitioners were selected candidates for the post of Junior Engineer (E&M) and their names figured in the final select list. An advertisement was issued for recruitment on the post of Junior Engineer which was applied to by the petitioners. Initially, in the advertisement there was no condition of opting for a particular branch and attempting question paper of that branch, however, on the request of certain candidates, respondent 2 provided that a candidate can exercise his option to attempt the question relating to one of the five branches. The examination was held, petitioners got selected and their name figured in the merit list. It was stated that subsequently, Uttarakhand Subordinate Service Selection Commission on its own motion ordered for an inquiry by the District Magistrate vide its letter where it was mentioned that enquiry was supposed to be conducted only in respect of Genius Coaching Institute, Roorkee from where 66 candidates were selected. Committee conducted the enquiry and submitted the report; State of Uttarakhand took a final decision for cancellation of the entire selection process. It was alleged that the Secretary (Energy) without affording any opportunity of hearing to the petitioners had cancelled the entire selection process holding that during moderation process mobile phones were used.

The Court relied on the judgments of Shankarsan Dash v. Union of India, (1991) 3 SCC 47; Rakhi Ray v. High Court of Delhi, (2010) 2 SCC 637; Punjab State Electricity Board v. Malkiat Singh, (2005) 9 SCC 22 and explained that merely because the name of a candidate finds place in the select list, it would not give the candidate an indefeasible right to get an appointment. The Court further relied on the Supreme Court’s judgment in Radhey Shayam v. Chhabi Nath, (2015) 5 SCC 423 which had considered the nine Judge Bench Judgment in Naresh Shridhar Mirajkar v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1967 SC 1 and held that the remedy under Sections 226 / 227 of the Constitution of India was not an appealable remedy and could be used only in very exception cases when manifest miscarriage of justice had been occasioned and where there was some perversity in the order passed by the Court.

The Court while dismissing the petition held that the contention of the petitioner was that no allegation of malpractice in the examination on their part had been found but it can’t be accepted for the simple reason that it is difficult to segregate those who have adopted the malpractice and those who did not. Unless sanctity and fairness of a competitive examination is maintained, no one would repose faith in such a competitive examination.[Pawan Nath Goswami v. State of Uttarakhand, 2020 SCC OnLine Utt 824, decided on 04-12-2020]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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