Rashid Paul

HC dismisses petition challenging additional weightage to reserved category candidates

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Srinagar, Oct 25: A petition challenging amendment to rules that gave additional weightage to the reserved category candidates for selection for the posts of +2 lecturers was dismissed by the J&K High Court today.

The petition, by Basharat Bashir Teeli, an aggrieved candidate, had agitated a notification by the J&K Public Service Commission (PSC) that amended the Rule 51 of the Commission (Business & Procedure) 1980.

The candidates belonging to the reserved categories were required to obtain a minimum of 45 percent out of the total weightage points earmarked for assessment under the Rule for the posts.

Prior to the amendment, such candidates were required to obtain only 40 percent out of the total weightage points.

Disposing off the writ petition, Justice A M Magray said “in the outset, it is important to note that undoubtedly the amendment was made by notification dated 12.05.2016 – a date which obviously falls after the date of notification of the vacancies and closing date of submission of the online applications viz. 19.03.2016 and 25.04.2016 – but such amendment was made effective from 01.01.2016, i.e., a date much prior to the date of notification of the vacancies.

“Obviously, therefore, it cannot be said that the rules of the game were changed by the Commission when the game was being played or that the game had been played,” he added.

The written test of the candidates was conducted on 26th of June 2016 and the result was declared on 29 September 2017. In all 47 candidates qualified the written test and were called for interview. Seven candidates were selected under open merit and two candidates under Residents of Backward Category.

“The general rule is that the vacancies which exist on the date of amendment of Rules have to be filled up in accordance with the Rules as they stood prior to amendment; provided the amendment is not retrospective,” the court said referring to a judgment by the J&K High Court in Akash Kumar versus State.

It held that it is within the powers of the Commission to lay down its procedure to be followed in the conduct of the examinations in fulfillment of its constitutional duty in a manner as has a uniform application to a class or category of participants.

The amended Rule having been uniformly applied to all the participants, the petitioner cannot claim infringement of any of his rights, whatsoever, the court said.

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