Decided on December 17,2008

Chaudhary Jayeshkumar Lavjibhai Appellant
The Chief Security Commissioner Respondents


- (1.) THE petitioners in this group of petitions challenge the action of the respondent -Western Railway in cancelling the selection of the petitioners as constables in Railway Protection Force.
(2.) ON 24th February, 2006, the Western Railway gave a public advertisement inviting applications for appointment to 202 posts of constables in Railway Protection Force/Railway Special Protection Force from amongst the eligible candidates belonging to other backward classes and Ex -servicemen in the Gujarat State and Union Territories of Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The said public notice also provided that the candidates must be of other backward classes specified in Resolutions dated 13th September, 1993 and 20th October, 1994 issued by the Government of India in its Ministry of Welfare. In answer to the said public notice, the petitioners applied for appointment as constables. They also produced certificate issued by the concerned mamlatdar certifying that the applicant concerned belonged to Anjana Chaudhary community which was recognized as backward class under the above referred Resolutions dated 13th September, 1993 and 20th October, 1994. The petitioners under -went the selection procedure. By communication dated 1st May, 2006, the petitioners were instructed to report for medical examination. After they were declared medically fit, under communication dated 15th December, 2006, the petitioners were informed that they were selected for appointment as constable in Railway Protection Force. They had to attend initial training at Kharagpur (W.B.) on condition, inter alia, that during the period of training they would be paid stipend and other allowances. Before they were sent for training as constables, the certificates produced by them were referred to the concerned Mamlatdar for verification. On such verification, the mamlatdar informed the Western Railways that the Anjana Chaudhary community to which the petitioners belong was not specified as backward class under the above referred Government Resolutions dated 13th September, 1993 and 20th October, 1994. On receipt of the said information, by order dated 30th January, 2007, the selection of the petitioners was cancelled. Feeling aggrieved, the petitioners have preferred the present petitions.
(3.) LEARNED advocate Mr. Shah has appeared for the petitioners. He has challenged the above referred Order dated 30th January, 2007 on several grounds. He, however, does not dispute that the petitioners do belong to Anjana Chaudhary community of Mehsana District. He also admits that the said community is not recognized as other backward class under the above referred Resolutions dated 13th September, 1993 and 20th October, 1994. Mr. Shah has submitted that the petitioners had produced certificates that were issued by the concerned mamlatdar. If mamlatdar had committed any mistake, the petitioners ought not to be made to suffer. He has submitted that the petitioners are other backward class people recognized by the State of Gujarat. Pursuant to the applications invited by the Western Railways, the petitioners did apply and under -went extensive and rigorous selection procedure. Since the petitioners were selected for appointment as constables, the petitioners did not apply for appointment to other services, thereby they have altered their position to their detriment. He has pressed into service the principle of promissory estoppel. He has next submitted that several other people of the same community have been selected as constables in Railway Protection Force as other backward class candidates and have been serving as such for many years. Even, amongst the candidates selected alongwith the petitioners, some were appointed and were sent for training at Hyderabad and they have also been posted on various duties, as mentioned in the petition. The petitioners have thus been discriminated, though they are similarly situated. He has next contended that even pending these petitions, the Western Railways initiated a fresh recruitment process on 1st June, 2007. He has submitted that the persons selected pursuant to the said recruitment procedure have secured marks lesser than the present petitioners. Hence, the petitioners should be accommodated against the available vacancies advertised on 1st June, 2007.;

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