High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Paramjeet Kaur v. State of Punjab & Ors. - CWP-1051-2002  RD-P&H 3736 (5 July 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA, CHANDIGARH.
C.W.P NO.1051 OF 2002.
DATE OF DECISION: 12.7.2006
Paramjeet Kaur v. State of Punjab and others.
CORAM: HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE J.S.NARANG.
HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE ARVIND KUMAR.
Present: Mr.K.L.Arora, Advocate, for the petitioner.
Ms.Nirmaljit Kaur, Addl. Advocate General Punjab, for the State.
The facts which need to be noticed are that the posts of Lecturers in Punjabi of female category had been advertised along with other posts vide advertisement dated 28.6.2001, copy Annexure P1. The essential qualifications has been indicated as Master of Arts in the concerned subject (M.A) and B.Ed (Bachelor of Education) from a recognised university. The candidates were to apply as per their eligibility against a posts falling in the general category and also in the reserved category accordingly. The last date for submitting the applications was fixed as 19.7.2001.
The petitioner being eligible applied against the general category as well as the reserved category as the petitioner fulfilled the eligibility condition for being considered against the reserved category i.e.
Backward class. Both the applications were submitted to the competent CWP No. 1051 of 2002 2
authority completed in all respects. The petitioner had been issued roll number for appearing in the interview for the post of Lecturer in Punjabi against both the categories i.e. General as well as reserved category. It may be noticed that the petitioner had received separate interview cards against both the aforesaid categories. For backward class category the interview was fixed for October 18, 2001 with Roll No.0602-000616 and for general category the inter view was fixed to be held on October 19, 2001 and the petitioner had been given the roll number bearing No.0602-00044. It may be noticed that the petitioner had not raised any objection for being interviewed separately against the aforesaid separate category.
The petitioner appeared in the interview meant for backward class category before the Departmental Selection Committee( for short referred to as "DSC") consisting of five members. She appeared against the general category roll number for interview on October 19, 2001 before the DSC. The requisite updated documents as required by the DSC were submitted by the petitioner for the purpose of being considered against the backward class category.
Results were published in Daily Ajit News-paper on November 11, 2001. For general category the petitioner had been shown in the waiting list at serial No.4 with 55.29 marks. So far as the result of backward class category is concerned, the petitioner was not shown anywhere in the list. However, the candidate at SerialNo.1 in the aforesaid category was shown to have obtained 54.66 marks and if the marks obtained by the petitioner in the general category were to be kept in view she would have been placed at Serial No.1 in the backward class category. The petitioner went to the office of the DSC to inquire into this ambiguity but CWP No. 1051 of 2002 3
her status vis-a-vis the grade earned in the backward class category was not disclosed. Resultantly, the instant petition has been filed for issuance of a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the authorities to issue an order of appointment in favour of the petitioner against the post of Lecturer in Punjabi meant for backward class category as the petitioner had earned highest grade in the said category as the person shown at Sr.No.1 has earned lesser grade than the petitioner. Notice of motion was issued vide order dated 16.1.2001 and that the petition was admitted vide order dated 21.11.2002 with liberty to file an application for seeking early hearing.
Resultantly, vide order dated 8.4.2005, passed in C.M.No.1593 of 2004, the petition was ordered to be listed for final hearing in the week commencing May 16, 2005.
On the other hand, the respondents have contested the petition by way of submitting detailed written statement. The stand taken by the respondents is that the petitioner had been interviewed for backward class category on 18.10.2001 against separate roll number issued to her and for general category, she was interviewed on October 19, 2001 against a separate roll number. In the backward class category, she was found lower in merit, therefore, was not selected. Similarly, her merit was lower vis-a- vis-a-vis general category candidates, therefore, could not be selected against any of the categories. The contest is only on the ground that the petitioner had been interviewed against both the categories but she did not earn the requisite grade in the selected candidates category. It has been contended by the learned Additional Advocate General that she had never ever disputed or raised any objection for having been issued separate roll numbers for being considered in the interview against two separate CWP No. 1051 of 2002 4
categories i.e. Backward class category and general category. It is obvious that she conceded to be considered separately against both the categories. It is a separate matter that she earned higher marks in the general category but lower marks in the backward class category. This would not mean that she can advantage of the grade earned in the other category to be considered in the category where she has earned lesser grade.
The stand of the respondents has been controverted by way of replication submitted by the petitioner reiterating the stand taken in the petition. It is further the stand that the same person i.e. The petitioner appears before the same Selection Committee with the same documents and for the same post though segregated for two different categories and in one set of interview she earned different grade and in the other she earns different grade and despite having earned highest grade earned by the candidate in the backward class category she has been non suited. This ambiguity is not unexplainable. It may be noticed that no plea has been taken that two separate interviews could not be held for the same post though some sears are being kept separately for the reserved category and some seats are meant separately for the general category. The stand is that all the candidates should have been measured with one measuring rod vis-a- vis their intelligent quotient is concerned and also the academic results.
Thus, the respondents have acted in a very unfair manner in non suiting the petitioner.
During the course of hearing I had directed the production of the record to ascertain as to whether any separate criteria or procedure had been culled out by the DSC for interviewing the candidates for the general category and the backward class category. Learned Additional Advocate CWP No. 1051 of 2002 5
General has produced the record and has also informed that there are no rules or instructions by virtue of which separate criteria could be provided for interviewing the candidates of different categories when the posts are same. However, she has stated that the DSC had also not provided any such guide-lines in this regard. She has further stated that in the first instance the lists of such categories has been segregated and the eligibility criteria was examined accordingly. It is the admitted case that eligibility criteria for the general category candidates and the reserved category candidates has been certain prescribed in the advertisement. Thus, under no circumstances, the candidates falling in these two categories could be interviewed together. In view of the law settled by the Hon'ble Supreme Court,a candidate can apply against both the categories and has to be considered distinctly against the category and his/her success would be dependent upon the grade earned accordingly.
Learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that the result of the DSC does not inspire confidence especially when the members of the committee are the same and a candidate is interviewed against the general category on a separate day and is awarded different grade but when subsequently is interviewed for the other category by the same committee, the grade earned is shown much less than the grade earned earlier. There is no rule or regulation or criteria prescribed anywhere as has been fairly stated by the learned Additional Advocate General. Resultantly, the highest grade earned by such candidate has to be considered against both the categories. Resultantly, the petitioner would be entitled to be appointed having earned higher grade than the highest grade earned by the candidate shown at Serial No.1 in the backward class category.
CWP No. 1051 of 2002 6
On the other hand, learned Additional Advocate General , has controverted the argument by submitting that the petitioner conceded having participated in the two separate interviews on two separate roll numbers. It is obvious that she was aware that she might earn different grade in one interview and different grade in the other interview and that would decide her fate vis-a-vis her claim staked against both the categories.
It is further contended that list of backward class category has to be finalised separately because some of the candidates staking their claim in backward class category may not have applied against the general category and, therefore, they could not have been interviewed vis-a-vis the general category candidate . Since separate list had been drawn against the aforesaid category, the interview also had to be held separately. It is entirely as to how a candidate behaves in one interview or the other and the members of the Selection Committee are well within their rights to assess the competence and intelligent quotient of the candidate considering the answers given by the candidate accordingly. There is no rule which might grant protection to the petitioner in the given situation at hand. She may have earned higher grade in the interview held for the general category candidates but when being interviewed in the backward class category, she could not fair and, therefore, earned lesser grade than the one earned by the candidate placed at Serial No.1 and subsequent thereto. Admittedly, she did not object to be interviewed separately as she had received separate roll numbers and had presented herself before the DSC on two dates,it would have been a different matter if she had raised this issue right in the beginning either appearing in the general category interview but no such stand was taken by her. In this view, no case is made out by the petitioner CWP No. 1051 of 2002 7
and that the petition deserves to be dismissed.
I have heard learned counsel for the parties at length and have also perused the paper book and the respective pleadings of the parties. I have also perused the record produced by the learned Additional Advocate General upon the direction of the Court. It is the admitted fact that the petitioner received two roll numbers for being interviewed against the general category as also the backward class category to be held on different dates. She did not raise any objection or staked any claim that since she had applied against both the categories and that she should be interviews only once and that the grade earned by her ought to be considered against both the categories. With her wisdom she participated in both the interview at the relevant time with the hope that she would fair better and better in both the interviews and she might top in one category or the other. Upon the declaration of the result, to her dismay she found that she could not make the grade in the interview held for the candidates meant for backward class category as she had earned lesser grade than the last candidate and making the grade in the backward class category. So far as the general category is concerned, she did not make the grade but that did not place her in the merit list as the grade so earned is lower than the last candidate taken in that category. I am of the considered opinion that in the absence of any such rule where interview should be held of the candidates in one shot whether they belong to backward class cateogry or general category, the respondents were well within their rights in segregating the list and interviewing the candidates accordingly. The first principles could not have been adhered to by the respondents because some of the candidates staking their claim in the backward class category may not have opted for general CWP No. 1051 of 2002 8
category as well though could not be clubbed with the general category for the purpose of interview. The petitioner did not raise any objection after having received two roll numbers and two dates fixed for interviews for the categories accordingly. The objections cannot be raised as and when feel convenient by the person. The claim which is being staked in the instant petition could have been made at the outset and not after the results have been declared. In view of the above, I find no merit in the petition and the respondents were well within their rights for holding separate interviews for both the categories i.e. General category and backward class category in the absence of any rules to the effect that only one interview should be held, be it for general category, be it for backward class category or for any other reserved category. Resultantly, the petition is dismissed with costs which, are assessed at Rs.5000/-.
( J.S.NARANG )
July 12, 2006
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