HC upholds withdrawal of advertised posts by PSC

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Apr 4: High Court has upheld the decision of the Public Service Commission (PSC) for withdrawing the advertisement of Assistant Professor Posts in different disciplines in Government Degree Colleges in Jammu and Kashmir.
Aggrieved by the action of PSC, the candidates who were shortlisted for interview for these posts approached the Central Administrative Tribunal for quashing the decision of withdrawal of posts by PSC. The CAT dismissed their plea.
The Division Bench of Justice Rajnesh Oswal and Justice Moksha Kazmi concluded that there is no illegality or infirmity in CAT decision which may warrant interference by this court as such present writ petition is found to be misconceived and the same is, accordingly, dismissed.
It is Chief Secretary of the UT in terms of communication dated 22.09.2022 forwarded the minutes of the meeting held on 01.09.2022 to the Chairman PSC and thereafter the CS vide communication dated 01.12.2022, requested the JKPSC to withdraw the posts advertised vide various notifications and the PSC vide notification No.03-PSC (DR-P) of 2023 dated 01.02.2023 withdrew all the posts advertised vide different notifications.
During the pendency of case before the Tribunal, the PSC re-advertised the posts of Assistant Professor and Physical Training Instructor in the Higher Education Department vide Notification No.06-PSC (DRP) of 2023 dated 01.03.2023 and Notification No.08-PSC (DR-P) of 2023 dated 01.03.2023.
The petitioners being aggrieved of the notifications also again invoked the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and while issuing notice in the matter, the Tribunal vide order dated 25.04.2023 as an ad-interim relief directed the respondent-PSC that any process of selection pursuant to the notification dated 01.03.2023 shall remain subject to outcome of the case. The plea thereafter came to be dismissed on merits after hearing the parties by the CAT.
The Division Bench while holding the decision of the PSC and dismissal of the CAT valid said the petitioners have no vested right whatsoever on these posts and as the final action was not carried out pursuant to the advertisement notices made in 2021/2022, therefore, the same were withdrawn by virtue of notification/ order dated 01.02.2023.
The respondent-PSC court added, have denied that the amended Rule 45 is in contravention of the University Grants Commission Regulations as the amended Rule 45 is intended to lay down higher standards by prescribing written examination even for the purpose of short-listing of candidates than that provided under UGC regulations.
“The UGC Regulations relate to the selections made by the selection committee of colleges whereas in the instant case the selection is being made by the authority constituted under Article 315 of the Constitution of India”, DB said.
The stand of PSC is that the selection process was at the very initial stage and the final list of the candidates to be interviewed was not even prepared and no interview notice was issued and the petitioners have no case at all.
“…though a candidate whose name figures in the select list has no indefeasible right to be appointed but at the same time, the discretion of the employer in not filling the posts should not be arbitrary, whimsical or capricious, meaning thereby not proceeding ahead with the selection process, should not be arbitrary i.e. there must be justifiable reason for not proceeding ahead with the completion of the selection process”, reads the judgment of DB.