Falgu Mukati | Pravin Gandhi College of Law | 10th February 2020
Nitish Kumar Pandey vs State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors, Civil Appeal NO. 1215 OF 2020
The matter relates to the selection of the Gram Rojgar Sahayak in the Panchayat. The issue in this case relates to the method of appointment or the selection process of Gram Rojgar Sahayak in Rewa District of Madhya Pradesh. According to the Panchayat and Rural Development Department One Gram Rojgar Sahayak per panchayat must be appointed. Thus, the concerned officials invited applications for Gram Rojgar Sahayak. The appointment to this post was to be made as per the fresh guidelines issued on 02/06/2012, issued by the Madhya Pradesh State Employment Guarantee Parishad. The said guidelines were classified into
- Compulsory Qualifications, and
- Desired Qualifications
The compulsory qualifications were the basic educational qualifications. The desired qualifications referred to the computer exams pass from any one institution mentioned in the memo of General Administration Department. Although the selection process was to be performed as per the guidelines dated 02/06/2012, the office of Collector of Rewa, Madhya Pradesh issued a Revised Time Schedule dated 17/06/2014, and the date for the initiation of the recruitment process was ‘before 20th June, 2014.’ The 9th point of the Revised Time Schedule stated the holding of the computer efficiency test of selected candidates and those at the top of the merit list, which was to be held before 18th September. Upon the test being conducted the writ petitioners were removed from the list on the basis of the result in the computer efficiency test. Thus, the people who were removed on the basis of their result in the computer efficiency test filed a writ petition.
- It stated that the implementation of the MGNREG scheme required knowledge and use of computer since the whole process was computerised and various functions could be implemented only when the person occupying the said post had knowledge of computer.
- It stated that the Revised Time Schedule was issued on 17/06/2014 and the recruitment process initiated on 20/06/2014. Thus, the change had not been introduced after the recruitment process initiated, but before.
- The writ petitioners were aware of the Revised Schedule, and had appeared for the computer efficiency test. After the results when they failed to qualify ahead, they challenged the concerned authorities which was not correct.
- It stated that the Supreme Court in the case of Subhash Chandra and another vs Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board and others, has held that a decision rendered in ignorance of a binding precedent will have to be held as a decision rendered per incuriam.
- A candidate having knowledge of the requirement in the notification, and yet proceeds ahead with the process cannot be permitted to approbate or reprobate.
- It was alleged that the Collector, Rewa District of Madhya Pradesh, had misused its powers and exceeded the powers given to him. The guidelines dated 02/06/2012, classified computer efficiency as a desired qualification and not mandatory for the recruitment process.
- The Revised Time Schedule was introduced after the recruitment process had commenced. Thus, introducing additional guidelines in the mid-way was in violation of law.
- The Revised Time Schedule did not specify that the computer efficiency test was a pre-condition to secure inclusion in the select list. It was only made a part of the recruitment process.
- The High Court has taken note of all the facts and has thus derived to an appropriate conclusion, and thus the order cannot be termed as per incuriam as contended.
- The guidelines dated 02/06/2012 is applicable to the entire state of Madhya Pradesh. However, the Revised Time Schedule dated 17/06/2014 issued by Collector, Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, is only in respect of one district namely district Rewa. By altering the requirement and prescribing an additional criterion for only one district is the violation of law and the
- The main issue raised in this case is that the petitioners who had the knowledge of the changes made in the recruitment process and voluntarily proceeded ahead, upon not qualifying in the test, did they have a right to challenge additional requirement inserted in the court of law?
- The Collector, Rewa, Madhya Pradesh that added an additional requirement in the recruitment process, did they have the right or authority to do so?
- It was held that the High Court had arrived at the decision after examining and hearing the arguments of both the sides and that it did not have any reason to interfere with the order impugned by the High Court
- The appeals are accordingly dismissed without any order as to costs. Pending applications if any, shall also stand disposed of.