Decided on November 30,1972

M G Anantha Padmanabha Setty Appellant
Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research At New Delhi Respondents


- (1.) This special civil application is filed by Dr. M. G. Anantha Padmanabha Setty, a Scientist of National Institute of Oceanography, for obtaining a writ of certiorari and mandamus against the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Shri C. Subramaniam Minister. In Charge of Industrial Development Dr. N. K. Panikkar, Director. National Institute of Oceanography and Shri H. N. Siddiquie, Geologist, to obtain a writ staying the order of appointment of Shri H. N. Siddiquie and quashing the said order.
(2.) The case of Dr. Setty is as follows:- The National Institute of Oceanography which is one of the institutions belonging to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, advertised the post of Scientist "E" in the newspapers. The qualifications for the post were (i) High Academic qualifications from Indian or foreign Universities in Geology/Marine Geology/Geophysics (ii) Ten years research experience as evidenced by publications in the field of Marine Geology/Geological Oceanography, (iii) Overseas experience including experience in shipboard research, (iv) Administrative/Organizational experience. Among the candidates who applied for the post were Dr. Setty and Mr. H. N. Siddiquie, the respondent No. 4. The synopsis of the application of Dr. Setty and Mr. Siddiquie is as follows:- Dr. M. G. Anantha Padmanabha Setty:- Date of birth:- 19-9-1926. Qualifications:- M. Sc. IV rank (1950). PH. D. distinction (Geology) 1963, Micropaleontology Sediment logy (Specialization). Particulars of employment and experience:- 1954-55 Lecturer. BMS College of Engg., Bangalore. 1955-59 Lecturer. Central College, Bangalore. 1959-63 teaching, research and Ph. D. work - Univ. of Utah USA Dept. of Geology. 1964-67 CSIR Pool Officer, 1967 to date Scientist C. and Head, Geological Oceanography Div. of NIO, Panaji. Papers published:- 13 papers published, 9 under preparation. 3 Talks in AIR, Panaji. Popular article in M. H. Sagar. Mr. H. N. Siddiquie:- Date of birth:- 20-7-1934. Qualifications:- M. Sc. First Class, 2nd position Geology (1956). Particulars of employment and experience:- From 2-11-1956 working at the Geological Survey of India. Working at present as Senior Geologist from 30-3-1966. Ship board experience Abroad 1964,1964,1972. In India 1966, 67, 67, 68,69. Smaller crafts 1968, 69, 70, 70 and 71. Papers published:- 22 papers published, one memoir, one review, 16 short communications. Dr. Setty and Mr. Siddiquie were two of the Scientists who were called for the interview by the Selection Committee and the Selection Committee recommended the name of Mr. Siddiquie to be appointed to the vacancy. Aggrieved by the selection, Dr. Setty now files this petition.
(3.) Bye-law 66 of the Memorandum of Association of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research provides as follows:- "The Selection Committee shall meet at New Delhi or such other place as its Chairman may appoint and examine the credentials of all candidates who have applied and shall also consider other suitable names suggested, if any by the members of the Committee." It is the contention of the petitioner that the function of the Selection Committee is to examine the credentials of all the candidates, and that in the present case the Selection Committee did not examine the credentials correctly. I do not see how this incorrect or erroneous exercise of functions by the Selection Committee can be the subject-matter of a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. The petitioner has not averred in his petition that the Selection Committee has not at all applied its mind to the qualifications of the candidates for the purpose of making a selection. It is contended by the petitioner that he was holding a Ph. D. degree whilst the respondent No. 4 holds merely a M. Sc. degree which was obviously inferior to his degree. He further contends that, as the head of the Geological Oceanography Division of the National Institute of Oceanography, his experience has to be rated higher than that of the respondent No. 4. The synopsis shows that it is not only the academic qualifications and experience that have to be taken into consideration whilst making the selection. The papers published and their Quality and also the pay scale and perhaps the basic pay drawn at the time of selection have also to be reckoned with. The candidates had also to be interviewed and their I. Q. and General Knowledge might have been assessed. Even the assessment of academic qualifications and experience are highly technical matters of fact into which this Court cannot go. It is quite possible that Dr. Setty is right when he states that the assessment made by the Committee is totally erroneous, but the error however grave is not apparent on the face of the record. Neither is it alleged that there was rank favouritism and mala fide on the part of the Selection Committee.;

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