(2021) 11 PAT CK 0011
|DATE OF JUDGMENT|
22nd September 2023
Supreme Court India
|RESPONDENT||State of Bihar & Ors.|
|BENCH||Justice J.K Maheswari and Justice K.V Vishwanathan|
This is the first appeal of the judgement passed by the High court of Patna in Sweety Kumari v. State of Bihar and Others in which the High court upheld the decisions of the officials’ respondents. The official respondents denied the appellants’ candidacies because, in the cases of Sweety Kumari and Vikramaditya Mishra, and Aditi, they failed to provide their original character certificates and law degrees, respectively.
FACTS OF THE CASE
Appellants Sweety Kumari, a candidate of Scheduled Caste (SC) category and Vikramaditya Mishra, unreserved category candidate, appeared in 30th Bihar Judicial Service Competitive Examination conducted for selection of Civil Judge (Junior Division).
Both the candidates have been declared successful in the preliminary examination and main examination after obtaining more marks than the cut-off for their respective category.
The candidature of the appellants Sweety Kumari and Vikramaditya Mishra was rejected on account of not producing the original character certificates at the time of interview. True photocopies were produced.
However, the candidature of the present two appellants as well as of one, Aarav Jain were rejected by a common communication.
Conversely, appellant Aditi submitted an application for the 31st Bihar Judicial Service Competitive Examination under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category. She met the cutoff with 501 marks. Due to her lack of a law degree certificate on the day of the interview, her candidature was denied.
Ankita, a candidate in a comparable situation, had her candidature withdrawn for the same reason. However, Ankita was given relief by the High Court because there was a vacancy in the SC category following the filing of separate writ petitions, which were resolved by a common decision, but Aditi was not given relief since there was not a gap in the EWS category.
- Whether the rejection of the candidatures of the appellants due to non-production of the original certificate at the time of interview by the Bihar Public Service Commission is justified?
- In the facts and circumstances of the case, what relief can be granted to the appellants?
CONTENTIONS OF APPELANT
Sweety Kumari, the appellant, has duly informed this court through her learned counsel that she was selected in the SC category for the 31st Examination and enlisted in the military. The case of appellant Sweety Kumari and appellant Vikram Aditya Mishra is clearly on par with the case of Aarav Jain and the other seven candidates who were appointed in furtherance of this Court’s judgment dated 23.05.2022 in Aarav Jain (supra), as evidenced by the discussion made above and the affidavit filed by the Registrar General.
CONTENTIONS OF RESPONDENT
The Bihar Civil Service (Judicial Branch) (Recruitment), Rules, 1955 and have been reviewed by the parties’ knowledgeable counsel. According to Rule 7(b) of the Rules, an applicant must persuade the BPSC that he possesses the necessary character traits to be appointed to the service. According to Rule 9, the candidate must provide documentation of their educational background, a character reference letter from the college heads, where he or she completed their studies; two references from well-known individuals; a medical practitioner’s certificate in the approved format; and a certificate from the relevant authorities attesting to the length of their practice. The second note to Rule 9 specifies that true copies of the certificates and other papers must be submitted.
The judgement passed by the High Court of Patna has been set aside. As successful candidates in the 30th and 31st examinations, respectively, appellants Sweety Kumari and Vikramaditya Mishra would be accommodated, as will appellant Aditi.
We make it clear that this decision was made in light of the particular facts of the case in order to lessen the candidates’ allegation of discrimination against those who are in front of us and who timely approached the court.
Here, it is made plain that applicants in identical circumstances would not be qualified to continue claiming the same benefit since they haven’t appeared before this court as soon as possible.
This decision was made in light of the particular case circumstances in order to lessen the candidates’ allegation of discrimination against those who are in front of us and who came to the court promptly.
This Article is written by Prazzal Mohanty student of SOA National Institute of Law, BBSR; Intern at Legal Vidhiya.