Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: A Division Bench of Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, CJ and Ashutosh Kumar, J. disposed of the writ petition since no case was made out for the exercise of discretion under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

The Attestation Form, with regard to the employment of the petitioner for the post of Assistant Central Intelligence Officer in the Intelligence Bureau, did not contain full particulars of his previous employment in the Intelligence Bureau Department itself where he had been earlier employed where his services had been terminated. The form had the requirement of disclosure of any employment either held by the candidate or any employment which may have been held by the candidate any time under the Central or State Government or Semi-Government or Quasi-Government body or an autonomous body or a Public Undertaking or a Private Firm or Institution.

The petitioner contended that the impugned order could not be supplemented by any reasons contained in the counter affidavit filed before the present Court and that non-supply of reasons in the order dispensing with the services of the petitioner and canceling his candidature could not be on the strength of a reason which had been brought forth through the counter affidavit. It was also contended that Clause 11(A) only created an obligation to disclose the employment that was held currently at the time of the submission of the Attestation Form.

The court held that a perusal of Clause 11(A) left no room for doubt that the requirement of disclosure obligated the candidate to furnish the entire information of any employment being held by him or having held any time an appointment of nature described therein. Non-disclosure of such a fact had a direct bearing on his employment. This fact of termination of employment in the same department, which is a highly sensitive department, therefore, could not be said to be a piece of information that was not required to be disclosed.

In view of the above-noted facts, the instant application was dismissed accordingly. [Chandra Shekhar Prasad v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 1920, decided on 06-11-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: A Division Bench of Ramesh Ranganathan, C.J. and N.S. Dhanik, J. contemplated a writ petition filed in pursuant to the order passed by Court in 2019, which directed the Project Director to prepare a set of instructions, in consultation with the concerned officials, for effective implementation of the Mid-day Meal Scheme, directed each school to strictly adhere thereto, and  periodical inspections to be caused by a separate inspection staff with a view to satisfy himself that the funds earmarked for this Scheme were not misappropriated, an affidavit was filed by the Project Director enclosing thereto the Government Order in this regard.

The petitioner i.e. the Project Director in the affidavit stated that, immediately after the Government Order was issued, the Secretary and School Education had issued directions to all District Magistrates of Uttarakhand for implementation of the said guidelines.

Siddharth Sah, learned counsel for the petitioner contended that, Principals of the said schools where lapse were noticed and implementation of Scheme was ineffective, were let off with a mere adverse entry. The counsel was satisfied with the guidelines issued by State, but highlighted certain loopholes as well in the practical approach.

The Court observed considerable force in the submissions of the petitioner and noted that undue leniency was shown to those who failed to discharge the duties entrusted to them, of effective implementation of the Scheme, which may well embolden others to be negligent or to misutilize funds earmarked for the Scheme. The Court advised to take more stringent disciplinary actions against the concerned Principals and officers. It directed the first respondent to consider giving wide publicity to the guidelines now framed for effective implementation of the Scheme, so that all stakeholders are made aware of the duties which those, in charge of the Scheme, were required to discharge.

The Court further held, “in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, this Court would, ordinarily, not sit in judgment over the decision of the competent authority in imposing punishment. We see no reason, therefore, to now direct the authorities to impose a more stringent punishment on the Principal concerned.”[Somendra Kumar v. State of Uttarakhand, 2019 SCC OnLine Utt 359, decided on 14-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of S.K. Seth, CJ and Vijay Kumar Shukla, J. declared that a publicity maneuvered petition cannot be entertained by way of Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

A public interest litigation was filed by the petitioner against a government order to waive off short-term agricultural loans advanced to farmers which had been submitted without any spade work just because it was being followed by other States consequently amounting to corrupt practice within the meaning of Section 123 of Representation of Peoples’ Act, 1951.

Considering the contentions and on examination of the petition the Court was not convinced upon the genuineness and doubted the credentials of the petitioner and regarded it as a kind of a publicity act. Also, the Court highlighted the fact that these kinds of petitions cannot be entertained by way of Article 226 of the Constitution of India. It concluded by saying that “The petitioner is asking us to rush in where Angels fear to trade. We are conscious of our limitations and we do not possess the necessary expertise or wherewithal to examine the political matter and in our considered opinion the Court is not the proper forum to thrash out political issues.”

Accordingly, the petition stood dismissed.[Mohit Kumar v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 108, Order dated 04-01-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising Sujit Narayan Prasad, J. dismissed a petition as it was out of their domain under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

This writ petition has been filed for issuance of direction upon the respondent to consider the appointment of the petitioner for the post of Lady Supervisor as she was having Graduation Degree in B.Sc. (Basic) in Nursing with Psychology, Sociology, and Child Health Nursing. The petitioner through his counsel Prem Pujari Roy has contended that she was not chosen despite having the requisite qualifications. It has been contended by the respondents that B.Sc. in Nursing has not been treated to be equivalent to the subject mentioned as per the eligibility criteria and therefore the candidature of the petitioners has been rejected. Here reference was made to the case Bihar Public Service Commission v. Kamini, 2007(5) SCC 519 wherein it was stated that in the field of education, a court of law cannot act as an expert. Therefore, whether or not a petitioner possesses requisite qualifications should better be judged by the respondent particularly when supported by an Expert Committee according to which a person can only be said to be Honors in the subject if at the graduate level she studied such subject as the principal subject and not a subsidiary one.

Thus the present petition was not under the domain of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and accordingly, this writ petition is dismissed. [Alka Priya v. State of Jharkhand, 2018 SCC OnLine Jhar 1750, decided on 13-12-2018]