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the question with respect to the scope of judicial review in the matter of selections and appointments made by Public Authorities.-there was nothing wrong in the method applied by the appellants in the Selection of the Security Assistants Grade-II. There was no discrimination whatsoever among the candidates called for the interview, nor any departure from the advertised requirements. One can always say that some other method would have been a better method, but it is not the job of the Court to substitute what it thinks to be appropriate for that which the selecting authority has decided as desirable. While taking care of the rights of the candidates, the Court cannot lose sight of the requirements specified by the selecting authority. What the High Court has proposed in the impugned orders amounts to re-writing the rules for selection, which was clearly impermissible while exercising the power of judicial review.

Page 1

All India Council for Technical Education

All India Council for Technical Education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO….1099.…….OF 2013
(@ out of SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 8707/2012 )
Rajya Sabha Secretariat & Ors. …
Appellants
Versus
Subhash Baloda & Ors. …
Respondents
J U D G E M E N T
H.L. Gokhale J.
Leave Granted.
2. This appeal raises the question with respect to the
scope of judicial review in the matter of selections and
appointments made by Public Authorities. A learned Single Judge
of the Delhi High Court has found-fault with the process of
selection of Security Assistants Grade-II, conducted, in the year
2009, by the Joint Recruitment Cell of the Parliament of IndiaPage 2
(Appellant No. 3), for the Rajya Sabha Secretariat and Lok Sabha
Secretariat (Appellant Nos. 1 & 2). By his judgment and order
dated 1.9.2011, rendered in Writ petition (C) 4835/2011 filed by
the Respondents (unsuccessful candidates) he has directed the
appellants to consider the claim of the Respondents for
selection, by the process approved by him. The appeal
therefrom, filed by the appellants herein, being LPA No. 839 of
2011 has been dismissed by a Division bench of that High Court
by its judgment and order dated 29.11.2011, which has led to
the present appeal by special leave.
Facts leading to this appeal:-
3. This appeal arises on the background of following
facts. Sometime in the year 2009, Appellant No. 3 issued an
advertisement bearing No. 04/2009, inviting applications for
various posts such as those of Research Assistants, Junior
Parliamentary Reporters, Stenographers, Translators, Security
Assistants Grade-II, and Junior Clerks. In the present matter we
are concerned with the posts of Security Assistants Grade-II. In
this advertisement, 37 vacancies were advertised in the cadre of
2Page 3
Security Assistants Grade-II, in the Lok Sabha Secretariat, and
19 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.
4. The scheme of the examination for these posts was
also incorporated in the advertisement. The examination for the
recruitment of Security Assistants Grade-II was to be conducted
in four stages. They were as follows:-
(1) Preliminary Examination,
(2) Physical Measurement and Field Tests,
(3) Descriptive Type Written Papers,
(4) Personal Interview
The candidates were expected to be graduates in any
discipline, provided they met the requisite physical requirements
as per the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Rules. As per the
approved scheme of the examination, the recruitment of the
candidates depended on their performance in each of the four
stages. Each test was an elimination round for the subsequent
test. The candidates were required to attain the prescribed
standards, and to qualify in each of the stages. However, the
marks secured by them in the third and fourth stage, viz.
descriptive type written paper and personal interview, were to
3Page 4
be considered for determining the inter-se seniority in the merit
order for selection.
5. (i) The advertisement specified as ‘desirable’, certain
additional qualifications, which were as follows:-
“Desirable: ‘C’ Certificate in NCC or sportsmen of
distinction who have represented a State or the
Country at the National or International level or
who have represented a University in recognised
inter-university tournament.
Note: In case of vacancies in Rajya Sabha
Secretariat:
(i) Certificate in computer course recognised
by AICTE/DOEACC or courses equivalent to
‘O’ Level in terms of syllabus and duration
of course as prescribed by DOEACC, is also
a desirable qualification.
(AICTE- All India Council for Technical Education)
(DOEACC- Department of Electronics
Accreditation of Computer Courses)”
(ii) The advertisement specifically stated that for these posts:
“Personal interview will carry 25 marks.
Candidates will have to secure the minimum
qualifying marks in the Personal Interview.”
(iii) Para XV of the advertisement laid down the cut off
percentage of marks. This para reads as follows:-
“XV.CUT OFF PERCENTAGE OF MARKS: The
minimum cut of percentages of marks in Written Test
and Personal Interview in an examination is 50%, 45%
and 40% for vacancies in GENERAL, OBC and SC/ST
4Page 5
categories respectively. The above percentages are
relaxable by 5% in case of physically handicapped
persons of relevant disability and category for
appointment against the vacancies reserved in Lok
Sabha Secretariat for physically handicapped persons.
These percentages are the minimum marks which a
candidate is required to secure in each
paper/component and aggregate in the written test and
in aggregate in the personal interview. However, the
cut-off percentages may be raised or lowered in
individual component/paper/aggregate to arrive at
reasonable vacancy: candidate ratio.”
6. Out of the candidates who wrote the descriptive type
written paper, 68 candidates secured the minimum qualifying
marks, and were called for the personal interview of 25 marks.
The break-up of marks for Personal Interview was as follows:-

a) Dress, manners and appearance 6 marks
b) Behaviour in communication 6 marks
(whether courteous and disciplined)
c) General awareness and knowledge of duties
involved security service 6 marks
d) Skill and Extra-curricular activities 5 marks
I. NCC C- Certificate 5 marks
II. Sports
International level/national level 5 marks
University Level 4 marks
e) Certificate in computer operations 2 marks ”
7. It is the case of the appellant that the breakup of
these marks for the personal interview was approved by the
Secretary Generals of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, in 2001.
5Page 6
The candidates who were called to appear for the personal
interview were sent call-letters, specifically informing them that
they had to bring the original certificates of NCC/Sports or the
certificate of the computer course. Specimen call-letter dated
3.5.2011 sent to a candidate is reproduced herein below. It
reads as follows:-
PARLIAMENT OF INDIA
(JOINT RECRUITMENT CELL)
RECRUITMENT TO THE POST OF SECURITY
ASSISTANT GRADE-II IN LOK SABHA AND
RAJYA SABHA SECRETARIATS
PARLIAMENT HOUSE ANNEXE,
NEW DELHI-110001
No. 7/3/SA-II(open)-JRC/2010
Dated: the 3
rd
May 2011
CALL LETTER
On the basis of your performance in the Physical
Measurement Tests, Field Tests and Descriptive Type
Written Papers held in December 2010, you have been
declared successful for appearing in the Personal
Interview to be held on Sunday, the 29
th
May, 2011 in
Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi.
2. Your Roll Number is 105999.
3. You are requested to be present at 9.30 A.M.
sharp at the Reception Office, Parliament House
Annexe, New Delhi, from where you will be conducted
to the venue of interview.
4. You are also required to bring the following
documents/testimonials for verification at the time of
Personal Interview:-
6Page 7
(i) Original certificates of Matriculation or
equivalent examination as proof of date of birth.
(ii) All original certificates of Educational and
other qualifications.
(iii) All original certificates of NCC/Sports.
(iv) Original certificate of Hill area resident, if any,
issued by the competent authority.
(v) Original Caste Certificate issued by the
competent authority (in case of SC, ST and OBC
candidates).
5. In case, a candidate has done a
computer course, he/she should bring the
original certificate thereof at the time of
Personal Interview. However, the credit for the
same shall be given only if it is accompanied by a
declaration by the concerned institute that the
computer course done by the candidate is
recognised by the All India Council for Technical
Education (AICTE)/Department of Electronic
Accreditation of Computer Courses (DOEACC) or
the course is equivalent to ‘O’ level in terms of
syllabus and duration of course as prescribed by
DOEACC.
6. The minimum qualifying marks in Personal
Interview are 50%, 45% and 40% for vacancies in
General, OBC and SC/ST categories, respectively.
7. Selection will be made on the basis of overall
performance of the candidates in the descriptive type
written papers and the personal interview, subject to
the availability of vacancies.
8. The decision of the Joint recruitment Cell
regarding allocation of the successful candidates to
either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha Secretariat
shall be final.
7Page 8
9. You should bring this call letter to the venue
of Personal Interview without fail.
Sd/-
(A.S.K. DAS)
Under Secretary”
(emphasis
supplied)
8. In was pointed out on behalf of the appellants that at
the time of the interview the exercise of checking the
certificates was undertaken by the officers of the Joint
Recruitment Cell, by verifying the documents prior to the
personal Interview. The officers simply assisted the interview
board, and saved their time. This exercise was done in the
presence of all the candidates, and they had the full knowledge
thereof. A candidate producing the ‘C’ Certificate of NCC was
entitled to full 5 marks. Similarly a candidate producing the
computer course certificate was entitled to 2 marks. There was
no discretion in awarding these marks. These marks were
deemed to be awarded by the members of the interview board.
After the checking of the certificates and the oral interview, 27
candidates were selected for the posts of Security Assistants
Grade-II for Lok Sabha as against 37 vacancies, and 13 were
selected for Rajya Sabha as against 19 vacancies.
8Page 9
9. The respondents were some of the candidates who
participated in this process but were not selected. They filed a
Writ Petition in the High Court of Delhi bearing Writ Petition (C)
No. 4835 of 2011. The respondents principally raised two
contentions: (1) firstly, that the splitting of the marks, in the
interview, was not indicated to them in advance, and (2)
secondly, attainment of minimum cut-off marks (say 50% for the
general category) be adjudged out of 18 marks ear-marked for
the oral interview, and the marks for the NCC or the computer
course certificates be considered only thereafter.
10. The appellants herein pointed out before the Learned
Single Judge that the issue was no longer res-integra, and had
been decided in a judgment rendered by a Single Judge of the
Delhi High Court in the case of Mahesh Kumar & Anr. Vs
Union of India 151 (2008) Delhi Law Times 353. It was a
case of selection to the very cadre of Security Assistants Grade-II
in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, in the year 2006. The judgment
of the Learned Single Judge, which was confirmed by a Division
Bench, had held that prescribing the minimum cut-off for the
skills in the interview could not be faulted. The Learned Single
9Page 10
Judge had also observed that the decision to assign minimum
50% marks for the interview was arrived at ‘in a thorough and
scientific manner.’
11. In the present matter, the Learned Single Judge,
however, distinguished the case before him from the decision in
Mahesh Kumar (supra) by holding that no arguments were
advanced in that case that the splitting up of the interview
marks (as 18 +7) was not justified, and that in any event it was
not specified in the advertisement. The Learned Single Judge
held that the question of fairness of the selection process was
not raised in that matter and therefore, he could go into it, since
the doctrine of sub-silentio operates as an exception to the rule
of precedent. He relied upon two decisions of this Court in
State of U.P. Vs. Synthetics and Chemicals Ltd. reported
in 1991 (4) SCC 139 and Union of India Vs. Dhanwanti Devi
reported in 1996 (6) SCC 44 in support.
12. Having decided to go into this issue, the Learned
Single Judge in terms held, in para 25 of his Judgment, that
allotting 7 marks for the certificates out of the 25 marks for the
interview had resulted in elimination of those candidates who
10Page 11
had otherwise obtained the minimum qualifying marks out of 18
marks. He further held that even if marks were to be given for
the certificates, they ought to have been in addition to the
qualifying marks, and ought not to have been used to eliminate
those who had otherwise qualified as per the marks in the
remaining portion of the interview.
13. The Learned Judge, thereafter, held in paragraph 26
as follows:-
“26. The action of the Respondent in applying the
criteria of minimum qualifying percentage to twentyfive marks and not to 18 marks which related to the
actual interview and that too without disclosing this
change either in the advertisement or to the candidates
before the interview is arbitrary and violative of Article
14 of the Constitution. It has resulted in the unfair
elimination of those Petitioners who have scored the
minimum qualifying percentage (50% for General
Category, 45% OBC and 40% SC/ST) in both the written
test as well as in the actual interview.”
14. The Learned Single Judge allowed the petition by his
judgment and order dated 1.9.2011, but confined the benefit of
his judgment and order to the petitioners before the court, and
directed that on applying the criteria as suggested by him, if any
of the petitioners are found to have qualified, they be offered
11Page 12
appointments to the posts either in Lok Sabha or in the Rajya
Sabha Secretariat.
15. The appellants carried the matter in Letters Patent
Appeal to the Division Bench which accepted the view-point that
had appealed to the Learned Single Judge. The Division Bench
dismissed the L.P.A No. 839 of 2011 by its judgment and order
dated 29.11.2011. The Division Bench, however, extended the
benefit of the principle laid down by the Learned Single Judge
across the board to all those who had participated in the
selection process. The Division Bench went further ahead in
another aspect. With respect to the marks for participation in
NCC or having done the computer course, it observed as
follows:-
“3……… It was believed by us that mere
participation in NCC/Sports and/or undergoing a course
in Computer Operations would not entitle a candidate
to the maximum marks of 5 & 2 respectively prescribed
therefor and it was for the Interview Board to assess
the proficiency and extent of participation of the
candidate in the respective fields and the marks to be
allocated therefore may vary from zero to five in case
of NCC/Sports and zero to two in the case of certificate
in Computer Operations………”
16. The Division Bench, therefore, accepted the
proposition laid down by the Single Judge that the eligibility
12Page 13
marks for interview were to be computed out of 18 marks only.
It further directed that where the proficiency in NCC/Sports or in
computer course was to be judged by the Interview Board, those
marks be added in the range of zero to five as per its
observations in paragraph 3 quoted above. Being aggrieved by
these two judgments this appeal has been filed.
Submissions by the rival parties:
17. Mr. R.K. Khanna, Learned Senior Counsel appearing for
the appellant submitted that the Learned Single Judge as well as
the Division Bench have gone into an area where they ought not
to have gone, while exercising judicial review. In his submission,
the advertisement had clearly stated that the C-certificates in
NCC or the Sport certificates or the certificates in computer
course were ‘desirable’. The call letter specifically called upon
the candidates to come with the original certificates. How the
marks ought to be given, out of 25 interview marks, was an
aspect to be decided by the interview board. He pointed out
that even so, to avoid arbitrariness, the splitting of the marks
was effected as per the decision of the Secretaries of Lok Sabha
and Rajya Sabha, arrived at way back in 2001. Previous
13Page 14
selections were also done on that basis in 2006, and they were
upheld by a Single Judge and a Division Bench of Delhi High
court. It was, therefore, not expected of the High Court to go
into that controversy once again. In any case assuming that the
controversy could be gone into afresh, while deciding the
petition the Court had gone into the question as to how the
interview board ought to have given the marks, which was
outside the scope of judicial review. Secondly, the Court ignored
that the marks were given to the certificates uniformly, and in
that there was no discrimination whatsoever. In his submission,
there was no occasion for the court to impose its reading of the
relevant requirements on to the interview board.
18. Ms. Jyoti Singh, learned senior counsel appearing for
the respondents, on the other hand submitted that the Learned
Single Judge of the High Court was right in holding that Mahesh
Kumar (supra) had not considered the issue in the manner in
which it was placed before the High Court in the present matter.
The advertisement clearly meant an interview of 25 marks. The
splitting of the marks of interview under various categories was
not informed to the respondents anytime prior to the interview.
14Page 15
If the oral interview was of 18 marks, then the cut-off marks
ought to have been assessed out of 18 marks, and the marks for
the certificates ought to have been added subsequently. The
manner in which the marks for the interview were allotted was
arbitrary, and it resulted into denial of equal opportunity in
public employment. She, therefore, submitted that the decisions
of the High Court did not call for interference by this Court.
Consideration of the submissions:
19. The first submission of Mr. Khanna has been that the
procedure adopted by the appellants had been approved by the
High Court earlier in Mahesh Kumar (supra) and the same
procedure was being followed this time also. He submitted that
if we look into the judgment in Mahesh Kumar (supra), the
same pattern of allotment of marks for the posts in this very
cadre is reproduced in para 14 of the judgment. In the present
matter also the single Judge has accepted in para 15 of his
judgment that the qualification requirements in both the cases
were the same. On the format of allotting the marks the
Learned Single Judge observed in Mahesh Kumar is as follows:-
“17. For recruiting candidates to a particular post
a procedure is prescribed by the experts in the field
15Page 16
after carrying out the necessary research taking into
consideration the requirement of the job and nature of
employment. One should not lose sight of the fact that
if the selection process is divided into series of steps
then each step has a purpose to serve and has been
included with an objective, be it written test/physical
test or an interview…….. The procedure devised by
the respondent eliminates arbitrariness to a
great extent as it is not just the whim of the
members of the interview board. There is proper
format for evaluation which is almost akin to another
written examination. The format for evaluation has
different marks for different traits which are detailed in
earlier paragraph.
……….
29. In the present case, the norms were
approved by the Secretary Generals of the Lok Sabha
and Rajya Sabha and in order to minimize any
arbitrariness or personal perception, separate marks
were allocated for dress; manners and appearance;
behaviour in communication(whether courteous and
disciplined); general awareness and knowledge of
duties involved in security services; skill and
extracurricular activities. In the oral interview, the
marks were also to be given on the basis
whether the candidates had participated either
in NCC or sports or paramilitary forces and the
weightage was also given for knowledge of
computer operations. With this detailed breakup of
different heads under which, in the interview the marks
were awarded to the candidates, it is reasonable to
infer that while assigning minimum 50% marks in viva
voce; the decision was arrived at in a thorough and
scientific manner……”
(emphasis
supplied)
The judgment of the Learned Single Judge in Mahesh Kumar
was left undisturbed by the Division Bench. Mr. Khanna,
16Page 17
therefore, submitted with emphasis that once the scheme of
selection was approved by the Division Bench, the Learned
Single Judge in the present matter ought not to have entertained
the contention that the submissions raised in the present matter
were not raised earlier.
20. It was also submitted that the respondents having
participated in the selection process, it was not permissible for
them to challenge the recruitment process subsequently.
Reliance was placed upon the judgment of this Court in Manish
Kumar Shahi Vs. State of Bihar & Ors. reported in 2010
(12) SCC 576 in that behalf.
21. As against the submissions of the appellants, the
submission of the respondents has been that although they
secured high marks in the overall performance i.e the written
test and the interview combined, they found that other
candidates were selected though they had overall less merit
than them, and yet they were shown as having secured higher
marks. After making an enquiry under the Right to Information
Act, they came to know that the selected candidates were given
more marks for their having the NCC and /or Computer Course
17Page 18
Certificates, leading to the selection of candidates having less
merit. They contended that the method of splitting up of marks
was not informed to them. This was unjust, discriminatory and
violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.
22. The Learned Single Judge in his impugned Judgment
has referred to the cases of K. Manjushree Vs. State of
Andhra Pradesh reported in 2008 (3) SCC 512 and Himani
Malhotra Vs. High Court of Dehi reported in 2008 (7) SCC
11. The factual situation in these two cases is however, quite
different from the one in the present case. In Manjushree
(supra), the minimum cut-off marks were prescribed after the
interviews were over, and after the first merit list was prepared.
In Himani Malhotra (supra) there was no indication in the
advertisement about the minimum qualifying marks for the
interview and the same were introduced by the selecting
committee after the written test was over and after the date for
oral interview was postponed.
23. The question before us is whether the interview board
can be faulted for making the certificate marks a component of
the 25 interview marks, and whether thereby the candidates
18Page 19
were in any way taken by surprise. In this connection we must
note that the appellants had advertised that the NCC/Sports and
Computer certificates were ‘desirable’. The call-letter, in
paragraph 5 thereof, specifically called upon the candidates to
bring their certificates at the time of the Personal Interview. It
further stated that credit for the same shall be given only if the
certificate was accompanied by a declaration by the concerned
institute that the course done by the candidate was recognized
by AICTE or DOEACC. Thus, it was clear that credit was to be
given to those certificates as a part of the interview. The
respondents, therefore, can not make any grievance that they
were taken by surprise by giving of 7 (out of 25) marks for such
certificates to the successful candidates. Nor can the
respondents say that any prejudice is caused to them, since all
candidates having such certificates were uniformly given 5
and/or 2 marks for the certificates, and those who were not
having them were not given such marks. The process cannot,
therefore, be called arbitrary.
24. The decisions rendered by the High Court were
erroneous for one more reason. In the present case, the
19Page 20
interview was to be of 25 marks. The view which has appealed
to the Learned Judges of the High Court would mean that the
cut-off marks (say 50%) will have to be obtained out of 18
marks, whereas the advertisement clearly stated that the cut-off
marks had to be obtained in the Written Test and the Personal
Interview. This meant obtaining cut-off marks out of 25 marks
set out for interview as well. The consequence of the view which
is accepted by the High Court will be that it may as well happen
that candidates who did not have the NCC/Sports certificates or
any computer course certificates will obtain higher marks out of
18 marks, and will top the list. On the other hand the candidates
who have these certificates may not get the cut-off marks out of
18, or even if they get those marks, they may land at the lower
level in the inter-se seniority in the merit order for selection. This
was certainly not meant to be achieved by the selection process,
when these certificates were declared in advance as ‘desirable’.
25. In the impugned order the Division Bench has
recommended in its judgment, as quoted above that the
proficiency of the candidates producing certificates be assessed
on a scale of 0 to 5. That will mean holding one more test as far
20Page 21
as computer course certificate is concerned, or asking the
candidates concerned to exhibit their skill in a particular sport or
as NCC Cadet. That was certainly not contemplated in the
advertisement. The advertisement only stated that the
NCC/Sport certificate and the computer course certificate
recognised by AICTE/DOEACC were desirable. The call-letter
specifically stated they will be given credit at the time of
interview. The Joint Recruitment Cell did not want to go behind
those certificates once they were from the proper authorities,
and therefore, the interview board fairly granted all the marks to
the candidates who produced those certificates, making them a
component out of 25 marks. It cannot be disputed that the
appellants have applied a uniform standard. The respondents
who had filed the petition were all constables. The posts of
Security Assistants were being filled from amongst them.
Although, dress, manners and appearance was given 6 marks,
behavior in communication was allotted 6 marks and general
awareness and knowledge of duties involved in security service
was allotted 6 marks, what was ‘desirable’ was having the
NCC/Sports or Computer course certificate. It was for the Lok
21Page 22
Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariat to decide what qualifications
they expected in the Security Assistants. They did want persons
with Sports/NCC and Computer course certificates. Therefore,
they specifically mentioned those certificates as desirable.
Specifying 5+2 marks for these certificates was in consonance
with the objective to be achieved. The method followed by the
interview board in giving these certificates 7 out of 25 marks
cannot, therefore, be faulted as denying equal opportunity in the
matter of public employment. Dissimilar candidates could not
be expected to receive similar treatment. Thus, in the present
process of selection, there is no breach either of Article 14 or 16
of the Constitution of India.
26. What the High Court has done is to impose its own
reading of the requirements of the selection process on to the
interview board. It was for the interview board to decide which
method to follow. The interview board had followed a particular
pattern earlier in the year 2006, which was upheld by a Single
Judge and the Division Bench of Delhi High Court. The interview
board was following the same pattern. We may at this stage
refer to an order passed by this Court in Haryana Public
22Page 23
Service Commission Vs. Amarjeet Singh reported in 1999
SCC (L&S) 1451. In that matter the issue was with respect to
the selection for the post of Agricultural Engineers and Subject
Matter Specialists in the Department of Agriculture. The
Haryana Public Service Commission had allocated marks for
higher qualification and specialized training to the extent of 40%
of the marks. The High Court had interfered therewith as being
arbitrary and directed the Commission to send the names of
Respondent Nos. 1 and 2 for appointment after stating as to
what marks should have been allotted to them in the interview.
This Court held that though the standard adopted by the Public
Commission may be defective, the same standard was applied
to all, and did not prejudice Respondents Nos. 1 and 2 or any of
the candidates. The Court observed that:-
“3…….When uniform process had been adopted in
respect of all and selections had been made, it was
highly inappropriate for the High Court to have
examined the matter in further detail and to have
allocated marks to the two candidates and thereafter
directed the appellant Commission to select them.”
27. In Barot VijayKumar Balakrishna and Ors. Vs.
Modh VinayKumar Dasrathlal and Ors. reported in 2011 (7)
23Page 24
SCC 308 the Rules framed under Article 309 of the Constitution
governing the selection process for the posts of Assistant Public
Prosecutor in the State of Gujarat mandated that there would be
minimum qualifying marks each for the written test and the oral
interview. In that case cut-off marks for viva-voce were not
specified in the advertisement. As observed by this Court, in
view of that omission, there were only two courses open. One,
to carry on with the selection process, and to complete it without
fixing any cut-off marks for the viva-voce, and to prepare the
select list on the basis of the aggregate of marks obtained by
the candidates in the written test and the viva voce. That would
have been clearly wrong, and in violation of the statutory rules
governing the selection. The other course was to fix the cut-off
marks for the viva voce, and to notify the candidates called for
interview. This course was adopted by the commission just two
or three days before the interview. Yet, it did not cause any
prejudice to the candidates, and hence the Court did not
interfere in the selection process. In the present matter it was
made clear in the call letters that the relevant certificates will be
given credit at the time of interview, since they were ‘desirable’,
24Page 25
and therefore there was no question of any prejudice or lack of
fairness on the part of the interview board in giving the specified
marks for the certificates.
28. Having noted this factual and legal scenario, in our
view there was nothing wrong in the method applied by the
appellants in the Selection of the Security Assistants Grade-II.
There was no discrimination whatsoever among the candidates
called for the interview, nor any departure from the advertised
requirements. One can always say that some other method
would have been a better method, but it is not the job of the
Court to substitute what it thinks to be appropriate for that
which the selecting authority has decided as desirable. While
taking care of the rights of the candidates, the Court cannot lose
sight of the requirements specified by the selecting authority.
What the High Court has proposed in the impugned orders
amounts to re-writing the rules for selection, which was clearly
impermissible while exercising the power of judicial review.
29. For the reasons stated above we allow this appeal and
set-aside the impugned judgments of the Single Judge as well as
that of the Division Bench. Writ Petition bearing No. 4835 of
25Page 26
2011 filed by the respondents will stand dismissed. In the facts
of the case however, there will be no order as to costs.
…………..……………………..J.
[ G.S. Singhvi]
…………………………………..J.
[ H.L. Gokhale ]
New Delhi
Dated : February 11, 2013
26

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