Madhya Pradesh High Court: Pranay Verma, J., allowed a petition which was filed praying for a direction to consider petitioner’s candidature for the post of Office Assistant (Multi purpose) and to issue appointment order in her favour in light of offer letter.

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) issued advertisement for recruitment of officers and Office Assistant (Multi purpose) in Regional Rural Banks including the respondent Bank. On account of typographical mistake, the petitioner mentioned her date of birth as 02-11-1991 instead of 04-11-1991 in the online form. Petitioner then appeared in the written examination and successfully cleared the same and offer letter was issued by the respondent Bank in her favour. The petitioner was called to report at head office of the respondent Bank for documents verification. Respondent Bank rejected the candidature and selection of the petitioner on the ground that she had filled incorrect date of birth in her application form. The petitioner preferred a representation before the respondent Bank seeking permission to make necessary correction in her date of birth in the application form, but no decision upon the same was taken hence she had approached this Court.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner had not gained by filling an incorrect date of her birth in her application form. Taking both the dates into account the petitioner would still be eligible for recruitment. The incorrect date mentioned in the application form by her was only a typographical mistake. The petitioner had been duly selected on merits and offer letter has been issued in her favour. The mistake on her part was inadvertent and trivial and ought to have been condoned by the respondent and appointment order ought to have been issued in her favour.

The Court was of the view that when a material discrepancy is noticed in the application form, the candidature may be cancelled even after the application has been processed and candidate has been allowed to participate in the selection process. But when a candidate has participated in the selection process and has cleared all the stages successfully, candidature should not be cancelled without careful scrutiny of the gravity of the lapse. The same cannot be done for minor omissions or errors.

The Court allowed the petition and held that there was no intentional misrepresentation on part of the petitioner as she had submitted her school Certificate. There is a difference between a mere inadvertent error and misrepresentation or suppression. Cancellation of candidature of petitioner on the ground of typographical error in her application form was hence arbitrary and grossly disproportionate to the gravity of her lapse. The respondent was directed to consider the candidature of petitioner.[Poonam Pal v. Madhya Pradesh Gramin Bank, WP No.9338 of 2021, decided on 15-03-2022]

Shri Rishabh Singh Chauhan, counsel for the petitioner.

Shri Shishir Kumar Purohit, counsel for the respondent.

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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