Gauhati High Court: Manojit Bhuyan J., simplifying the applicability of Rule 3 and Rule 4 of Assam Public Service (Preferential Appointment) Rules, 1999, said, “It would not be open to the petitioners to ask for a blanket direction to the respondents for providing employment in the government service under the Rules of 1999.”
The petitioners claim that they belong to a family, a member of which had been rendered physically disabled on account of participation in the Assam Movement on the issue of foreigners. It is stated that they also hold necessary certificates issued by the Deputy Commissioner of the concerned district. In the above regard, submission made is that they come within the definition of “Affected Candidate” in terms of Rule 2(a) of the Assam Public Service (Preferential Appointment) Rules, 1999. Case laid is that although they made application before the Deputy Commissioner, Dhemaji, claiming appointment to Government service on preferential basis and despite such application being forwarded to the Government of Assam in the Implementation of Assam Accord Department, no positive action came about, thus, compelling them to institute the present writ petition. Prayer made is for a direction to the respondents to expedite the process of granting employment to the petitioners in Government service as per the aforesaid Rules of 1999.
Assam Public Service (Preferential Appointment) Rules, 1999
Rule 3 Application
These rules shall apply to all the services and posts under the Government of Assam, recruitment to which are made through the Assam Public Service Commission or otherwise than through the Assam Public Service Commission.
Rule 4 Preference for Appointment
- Subject to the provisions of these rule wherever any recruitment to services and posts referred to in Rule 3 is made, one affected candidate who is otherwise eligible under the normal rules shall, ceteris paribus be given preference in making appointments;
Provided that such preference shall be subject to reservation in favour of candidates who are members of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes (Plains & Hills), Other Backward Classes (including More Other Backward Classes), Ex-Servicemen and physically handicapped persons:
Provided further that appointment of any affected candidate who is also a candidate of the category mentioned in the preceding proviso shall be set off against the percentage reserved for the members of that particular category.
Explanation- For the purpose of this Rule the expression ‘who is otherwise eligible under the normal Rules” shall mean an affected candidate whose name is included within the range of 3 (three) times of the number of vacancies in the result sheet of the candidates arranged in order of merit.
- If any affected candidate applies for any post claiming preference, he shall enclose a certificate from the Deputy Commissioner concerned to the effect that he is an affected person being a member of the family of a martyr or the family of a physically disabled person.
Applying strict rule of interpretation, the Court observed, “If the petitioners are keen to secure employment under the Government of Assam, they will have to strictly abide by the manner and procedure provided under the Rule 3 and 4 of the aforesaid Rules. It would not be open to the petitioners to ask for a blanket direction to the respondents for providing employment in the government service under the Rules of 1999. What would be required for making a valid claim for preferential appointment is that they must (i) possess a certificate issued by the Deputy Commissioner concerned showing that they are persons falling within the definition of ‘Affected Candidate’ under Rule 2(a) and (ii) while making application for recruitment to any service or post under the Government of Assam must enclose therewith the certificate issued by the Deputy Commissioner concerned. Further, they must otherwise be eligible under the normal Rules and their candidature, as per the Explanation appended to Rule 4, would only stand if their names are included within the range of three times the number of vacancies in the result sheet of the candidates arranged in order of merit.”
Making aforesaid observations, the Court reiterated the necessity of procedural compliance with respect to preferential appointments.[Narayan Borah v. State of Assam, 2020 SCC OnLine Gau 4644, decided on 01-12-2020]
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