High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Jasbir Kaur v. State of Punjab - CWP-3698-2005  RD-P&H 5174 (3 August 2006)
In the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh.
Date of decision : 23.8.2006.
Jasbir Kaur ... Petitioner.
State of Punjab and others ... Respondents.
Coram: Hon'ble Mr. Justice J.S.Khehar.
Hon'ble Ms. Justice Kiran Anand Lall.
Present: Mr.Vivek Sharma,Advocate,for the petitioner.
Mr.B.S.Chahal,Assistant Advocate General, Punjab, for respondents no.1 to 4.
Mr.Ajay Pal Singh,Advocate,for respondent no.6.
Kiran Anand Lall, J.
The petitioner as well as private-respondent no.6 are daughters- in-law, of Village Diwangarh Kaimper,Tehsil Sunam, District Sangrur. And, it is no more in dispute between them that after being selected by the Child Development & Project Officer, Sunam - respondent no.3-, it is respondent no.6 who is holding the post of Anganwari Helper of the village, at present.
As per the case of the petitioner, she and three more candidates, viz. Parkash Kaur, Sukhpal Kaur and Charanjit Kaur, had applied for the said post, for which the minimum educational qualification was that the candidate should have studied upto 5th class. Undisputedly, the petitioner as well as respondent no.6 satisfy this academic qualification, as both of them were 9th pass, at the relevant time.
The grouse of the petitioner is that she is fully eligible for the post but has not been selected, whereas respondent no.6 who even did not apply, has been selected as Anganwari Helper.
The case of official respondents, on the other hand, is that ****
respondent no.6 had duly applied to the Gram Panchayat- respondent no.5- but the Sarpanch refused to accept her application. Therefore, she had to, per force, give the application to the Deputy Commissioner (Sangrur) who had sent it to respondent no.3- the Child Development & Project Officer, Sunam. The latter, in turn, forwarded the same to respondent no.5 vide the forwarding letter, Annexure-R3, wherein the Sarpanch was asked to consider the same and include the name of respondent no.6 in the resolution. The Sub-Divisional Officer, Zila Parishad, Sangrur, also took up the matter with the Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Sunam, by addressing a letter, Annexure R2, to him. For the sake of convenience, the contents of Annexure R2 are being reproduced below:- "Sub: Regarding the cancelling of resolution passed by Gram Panchayat Dewangarh Kaimper and
Rogla Block Sunam) for keeping Anganwari Worker/ helper.
It has been brought to my notice by Smt.
Karamjit Kaur w/o Sh. Jodha Singh r/o Dewangarh Kaimper and Smt. Jagpal Kaur w/o Sh. Sham Lal r/o Rogla that for appointing Anganwari Worker/ helper the concerned Sarpanches have not included their names in the resolutions. Regarding this the aforesaid Sarpanches have passed the resolutions while sitting at their homes and the same have been sent to the office of CDPO, Sunam which are wrong.
You are hereby informed that direction be given to Sarpanch Gram Panchayat Dewangarh Kaimper and Sarpanch Gram Panchayat Rogla that the new resolutions be sent after including the names of the aforesaid candidates namely Smt. Karamjit Kaur w/o Jodha Singh r/o Dewangarh Kaimper and Smt. Jagpal Kaur w/o Sh. Sham Lal r/o Rogla." (emphasis added).
A copy of Annexure R2 was endorsed to the Child Development & Project Officer- respondent no.3- also, by the Sub- Divisional Officer, "with the request that the name of the aforesaid candidates be included in the resolutions and the necessary proceedings be brought into action".
Inspite of the said official correspondence between the different administrative authorities, respondent no.5 did not include the name of respondent no.6, in its resolution, Annexure P5, wherein names of only, the petitioner (eligible) and three others (all ineligible) were included. The case of respondents no.1 to 3 and 6 is that the respondent no.5 did not include the name of respondent no.6, in its resolution, as it was interested in the appointment of the petitioner, as Anganwari Helper. This version gets confirmation from the above narrated sequence of events. And, once respondent no.3 had also understood this situation, she considered the name of respondent no.6 also (alongwith other candidates) on the basis of her application which had been received through the Deputy Commissioner, and appointed her as Anganwari Helper, on finding her more suitable than the only other eligible candidate, the petitioner. The other three candidates, as stated above, were not eligible for the post.
The petitioner as well as respondent no.6 are daughters-in-law of the concerned village and were, therefore, equally circumstanced in so far as their status, in terms of their relationship qua the village was concerned.
Both had similar educational qualifications, also. But, an additional plus- point in favour of respondent no.6, was that she was older to the petitioner, in age. It was not disputed that her date of birth, as recorded in Annexure R1, is 19.9.1978, whereas that of the petitioner, as per Annexure P1, is ****
10.5.1982. Another factor which appears to have weighed with respondent no.3 in preferring respondent no.6 over the petitioner, is that the petitioner clearly looked to be a 'favourite' of respondent no.5, and the extent of favouritism could be measured from the fact that the latter went to the extent of even refusing to entertain the application of respondent no.6 who was the only eligible competitor of the petitioner. Respondent no.5 even went to the extent of flouting the clear-cut directions of the higher authorities, in the matter. Favouritism is one such thing which is required to be shunned by all public servants while making appointments and running the administration. Respondent no.3 had, accordingly, rightly preferred respondent no.6 over the petitioner who, if selected, would not have proved an "independent" employee.
Considered from any point of view, we do not find any merit in the petition. The same shall, accordingly, stand dismissed.
(Kiran Anand Lall)
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