Tripura High Court: Arindam Lodh, J., decided on a matter wherein the petitioner, in response to an advertisement notified by the respondents, had participated in the selection process for filling up the post of Assistant, Cashier, Single Window Operator etc.

The issue related to Para 11 of the notification:

“11. Biometric Data- Capturing and Verification

  1. The biometric data (right thumb impression or otherwise) and photograph of the candidates will be captured and verified during the process of recruitment on the following stages:

(i) Before the start of the Preliminary/Online examination.

(ii) At the time of entry and exit during Main examination.

(iii) At the time of document verification after the Main Examination for final selection based on merit.

(iv) At the time of reporting for the training.

  1. Decision of the Biometric data verification authority with regard to its status (matched or mismatched) shall be final and binding upon the candidates.
  2. Refusal to participate in the process of biometric data capturing/verification on any of the above mentioned occasions may lead to cancellation of candidature.
  3. If fingers are coated (stamped ink/mehandi/coloured etc.), ensure to thoroughly wash them so that coating is completely removed before the exam/time of document verification after final selection/joining day.
  4. If fingers are dirty or dusty, ensure to wash them and dry them before the finger print (biometric) is captured.
  5. Ensure fingers of both hands are dry. If fingers are moist, wipe each finger to dry them.
  6. If the primary finger (right thumb) to be captured is injured/damaged, immediately notify the concerned authority in the test centre. In such cases impression of other fingers, toes etc. may be captured.
  7. Please note that apart from the occasions mentioned above, LIC reserves the right to capture/verify biometric data of candidates at other stages as well.”

The petitioner appeared at preliminary examination and thereafter in the main examination, but, during the process, his finger prints and biometric impressions were found to be mismatched however he had succeeded in both the examinations.

In the call letter issued before the main examination some relevant instructions were issued regarding the biometrics.

By the communication dated 19-03-2020, the petitioner was informed that higher office of the respondents did not approve the continuation of the service of the petitioner as Assistant in view of his status as “Not Matched” in the Biometric authentication done on 03-02-2020.

Mr. Roy Barman, Sr. counsel appearing for the petitioner had submitted that the decision of the respondents discharging the petitioner from the service was arbitrary and illegal.

Counsel appearing for the respondents-LIC of India had submitted that the instant writ petition raised serious disputed question of facts which cannot be decided by this court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

The Court was of the opinion that there is no mechanism before this court to determine the issue raised in this writ petition conclusively as to how and whether the biometric impression concerning the petitioner was genuine or not.

The Court directed the respondents to dispose of the representation and examine the issue afresh as are available from the facts stated in the writ petition as well as in the representation. The Court further suggested that respondents may take the assistance of forensic examination to find out the claim of the petitioner qua authenticity of the thumb impression of the petitioner.[Subhradeep Mazumder v. LIC, 2021 SCC OnLine Tri 484, decided on 06-09-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported his brief.

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