SC upholds HC direction on weightage in teachers’ selection list

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Mar 15: The Supreme Court has dismissed a bunch of appeals filed by the Services Selection Board (SSB) challenging the verdict of Division Bench of High Court where by Services Selection Board (SSB) was directed to provide the weightage of points for higher qualification to the aggrieved candidates who had applied for the posts of teachers as advertised by the Board and redraw the final selection list for the posts on the basis of points.
A bench of Justice K M Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy dismissed 9 Special Leave Petitions filed by the Board against the DB judgment of High Court, directing the Board therein to assign appropriate points to all the relevant qualifications omitted by the aggrieved candidates while filing their application forms for the post of teachers.
The Board had refused to give weightage to the candidates for their higher qualification which was challenged by the aggrieved candidates before the High Court in various writ petitions. After the dismissal of appeals by the Supreme Court, the board is under obligation to provide weightage of points for higher qualification and to redraw the selection list.
The writ court had directed the Board to call the aggrieved candidates for counselling, verify their documents and assess their grade by awarding weightage of higher qualification denied to them on account of having omitted to fill-up the requisite column in their online application forms.
The SSB had invited applications from amongst the eligible candidates for selection against the posts of teachers vide its various notifications in 2017 in different streams for different districts of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Thereafter, the Board declared results/ provisional shortlists with respect to the notifications on the basis of the criteria which was earmarked in the advertisement notifications.
After issuance of the provisional shortlists with reference to the selection process, a number of representations were filed by certain competing candidates before the Board stating therein that they have not been given the additional points for higher qualification on the ground of same having been omitted in their online application forms, resulting in their non-inclusion in the provisional shortlists and inclusion of less meritorious candidates than them.
When no decision on the said representations was taken by the Board despite lapse of a considerable period of time, the aggrieved candidates approached the writ court through the medium of writ petitions seeking a direction upon the respondent Board to award appropriate points to them for possessing higher qualification.
“In such circumstances, we do not feel that the aggrieved candidates, by mentioning the qualification as M. Ed, have violated any of the terms and conditions mentioned in the application format,” the DB had said adding with “it is the case of the Board that only such candidates who have entered the requisite qualification in their application forms will get preference, but this claim does not match with the qualification column of B. Ed and M. Ed so prescribed by the Board in the application format, thereby misleading the aggrieved candidates in filling up their application forms”.