Delhi High Court: A petition was filed by Atul Kumar Garg (petitioner), a retired judicial officer seeking directions to be issued to Union of India (respondent 1) acting through its selection panel constituted under Section 9 of the Competition Act, 2002 to disclose the reason for arising the necessity for issuance of fresh advertisement for the same post though the selection process was almost completed after the selection committee has interacted 48 candidates on 09-10-2022 for the post of Chairperson vide vacancy circular dated 26-07-2022 and subsequent circular dated 23-02-2023. Prathiba M Singh, J. did not interfere with the selection process as the procedure was in accordance with law.
The petitioner had filed his application for being considered for the post of Chairperson at the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Counsel for the petitioner submitted that till date, he did not receive any communication containing the reasons for the rejection of his candidature or the status of his interview which was conducted by the Selection Committee.
Counsel for Union submitted that the selection committee in terms of the prescribed procedure is headed by a sitting Supreme Court Judge. The committee had initially received applications from 49 candidates in the first round when the vacancy circular was published. The applications of the said candidates were considered and a panel of two names was shortlisted. However, in terms of the extension notice, fresh applications were also called for and in the second round, the committee received the names of 33 candidates, out of which, a panel of three names was finalized.
It was also submitted that the panel so finalised was then sent to the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (‘ACC’), out of which the appointment of Ms. Ravneet Kaur, an IAS officer, was finalized and the appointment orders were issued.
The Court noted that the appointment of the Chairperson of the CCI has already been notified. Moreover, the petitioner, one of the candidates who applied and was also interviewed, cannot claim a right to be appointed. The Selection Committee had a large pool of candidates to consider and has short-listed the panel which was finally sent to the ACC.
Thus, clearly, in the first round and in the second round, the selection committee finalized the names of the individuals, and the Petitioner’s candidature has not been considered favourably by the selection committee. The prescribed procedure having been followed, the same does not warrant any interference
[Atul Kumar Garg v Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 3070, decided on 22-05-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Manoj Kumar Garg, Advocate for the Petitioner;
Mr. Balbir Singh, ASG, Sr. Advocate with Mr. Naman Tandon, Advocates for R-1&2/ CCI;
Ms. Nidhi Raman, CGSC with Mr. Zubin Singh Advocate for the Respondents.