Rashid Paul

HC dismisses petition challenging appointment of VCs

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Imposes cost of Rs 10K on petitioner

Srinagar, Dec 18: The High Court on Monday imposed costs worth Rs 10,000 on a petitioner challenging the recommendations of the search committee for the appointment of Vice-Chancellors (VC) of the Universities of Jammu and Kashmir.

The writ petition was filed by People’s Welfare Society through advocate A M Dar.

It challenged the recommendations of the search committee for the appointment of VCs of the Universities of Jammu and Kashmir regions.

Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar while hearing the petition observed that it is premised on speculation and there is no factual basis at all in support of the challenge laid.

“The writ petition, therefore, is dismissed with costs quantified at Rs 10,000 to be deposited by the petitioner in the Lawyers Welfare Fund within four weeks from today,” ordered the bench.

It said “the writ petition is raised on extremely vague grounds without laying any factual basis. It also does not complain of any violation of any statutory provisions. The writ petition has been styled as a petition filed in public interest.”

It also said that no public interest litigation is maintainable in service matters except by way of writ of quo-warranto for which the appointment has to be shown contrary to the statutory provision.

This principle, it said, has been held by the Supreme Court of India in its pronouncement in the case titled Hari Bansh Lal v. Sahodar Prasad Mahto and others.

The bench said that the apex court has clearly held that in absence of violation of statutory rules, the court cannot go into the suitability or otherwise of the candidates because that is the prerogative of the executive.

“A private person or a stranger having no existing right to the post, and not intrinsically concerned with the service matter, cannot approach the Tribunal for challenging the appointment,” it held.

The court put in to record that “if public interest litigations at the instance of strangers are allowed to be entertained by the Tribunal, the very object of speedy disposal of service matters would get defeated.”

It said there is no dispute that the authorities concerned in the present matter (the search committee) are satisfied with the eligibility and the qualification of the concerned persons.

“Therefore, it is not open at all for this court to embark upon such enquiry and ascertain the eligibility and suitability of the candidates,” the bench held and dismissed the petition terming it “completely misconceived and misdirected”.

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