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Not higher, basic qualification needed for selection: HC

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Nov 4: In a significant judgment, High Court has held that a candidate, cannot claim for post for which he/she does not have basic qualification despite having higher qualification.
Hearing an appeal filed by the selected candidates, whose selection was challenged by the candidates (non-selectees) who does not have basic qualification prescribed in advertisement for the post in question, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad said the writ court decision is not sustainable.
“In these circumstances, the decision of the learned Single Judge which is impugned before us, cannot be sustained. The same is set aside”, DB said.
The Division Bench consequently allowed the appeals of selected candidates whose selection was quashed by the writ court and dismissed the writ petitions filed by non-selected candidates.
DB directed the candidates be given consequential benefit of offering appointments, who had already been selected (but not appointed), within a period of two weeks.
The present appeals were filed against the Judgment of a Single Judge whereby the selection of Technician-III for various districts viz Ganderbal, Srinagar and Budgam was made in the Power Development Department with “Matric with ITI in relevant trade” as qualification.
The private respondents in appeals filed against the writ court verdict did not find their names in the selection list despite they were also higher in the merit and approached the court through writ petitions questioning the selection of candidates who were having basic qualification in the trade.
The entire controversy before the Single Judge was whether the writ petitioners (aggrieved candidates) were eligible for appointment to the post of Technician-III in the Power Development Department.
The Single Judge agreeing with the submissions made on behalf of the writ petitioners observed that the qualification of diploma in Electrical Engineering  (which was the qualification possessed by the writ petitioners) pre-supposed the acquisition of the lower qualification of Matric with ITI in the relevant trade.
Consequently, the Single Judge held  that the writ petitioners possessed diplomas in Electrical Engineering was sufficient compliance for eligibility for the post of Technician-III.
The Writ court also returned a finding that for all practical purposes, a diploma in Electrical Engineering was a higher qualification than Matric with ITI in the relevant trade.
The counsel appearing for the appellants (who were selected for the post) submitted that the only qualification prescribed in the advertisement notice was Matric with ITI in the relevant trade. “Admittedly, the writ petitioners/private respondents did not possess this qualification though they claim to possess the allegedly higher qualification of diploma in Electrical Engineering. It was also contended by the counsel for the appellants that there is nothing on record to establish that a diploma in Electrical Engineering subsumes the qualification of Matric with ITI in the relevant trade”, DB recorded in the judgment.
DB after considering  the arguments advanced by the counsel for the parties and examining  the decision of the Single Judge in detail, said the stand of the Government/Power Development Department also confirmed the stand taken by appellants counsel that the requirement for the post of Technician -III was Matric with ITI in the relevant trade.
“We have also examined the Government Order No. 129-PD of 1996 dated 04.12.1996, whereby creation of 23297 number of posts in different State departments as shown have been enumerated and said Government order at Serial No. 3 deals with the part of Technician-III. The qualification prescribed for such post was Matric with ITI in the relevant trade”, DB said.
After referring various rulings of Apex Court involving the controversy, DB said the objective behind the advertisement was to give employment to persons who had the qualification of Matric with ITI in the relevant trade that is why the said qualification was prescribed by the said Government order and also in the advertisement.
“There is no reason for us to assume and presume that the Government wanted to employ persons of higher qualifications than Matric with ITI in the relevant trade for the post of Technician-III”, DB said.
DB added that there is also no ground or basis to conclude that the diploma in Electrical Engineering is a higher qualification than Matric with ITI in the relevant trade. “It may very well be so, but there is no basis for us to come to that conclusion. In an appropriate case this may be decided”, read the judgment.
DB after examining the Board’s decision observed “it is evident from the said decision that the Board did not grant any weightage to the higher qualification. It was absolutely clear that only ITI in relevant trade (i.e., Electrician) has to be considered as prescribed in the advertisement notification.

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