WAHENGBAM SURAJ SINGH Vs. STATE OF MANIPUR
HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR
Wahengbam Suraj Singh
STATE OF MANIPUR
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KH.NOBIN SINGH, J. -
(1.) Heard Shri Th. Khagemba, learned Advocate appearing for the petitioner; Shri H.S. Paonam, learned Sr. Advocate assisted by Shri A. Arunkumar, learned Advocate appearing for the private respondents and Shri Niranjan Sanasam, learned Government Advocate appearing for the State respondents.
(2.) By the instant writ petition, the petitioner has prayed for issuing a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ to quash and set aside the order dated 03.12.2016 issued by the Director, Information and Public Relation, Government of Manipur so far as the respondent Nos. 3 and 5 are concerned and also to issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ to direct the respondents to consider the case of the petitioner for appointment to the post of Assistant Cinema Operator.
(3.) Facts and circumstances as narrated in the writ petition are, that the respondent No.2, the Director, Information and Public Relations, Government of Manipur issued a requisition for appointment in respect of 40 different posts including 3 post of Assistant Cinema Operators vide letter dt. 8.12.2014 addressed to the Additional Director, Directorate of Employment Exchange, Government of Manipur, followed by another letter dated 10.12.2014 requesting it to submit a list of eligible candidates on or before 30.12.2014. In reply thereto, the Directorate of Employment Exchange, Government of Manipur issued a notification for the recruitment of the 40 posts. The petitioner being eligible, applied for the post of Assistant Cinema Operator through the Employment Exchange, Imphal West and an admit card thereof was issued to him by the respondent No. 2 for viva-voce on 10.02.2015 but the viva-voce was not held, as it had been postponed indefinitely. One of the essential qualifications as prescribed in the relevant recruitment rules, is that a candidate must hold the Cinematograph Operator Licence.
3.2. The respondent No.2 wrote another letter dated 28.07.2016 to the Additional Director, Directorate of Employment Exchange, Government of Manipur to revalidate the candidates already sponsored pursuant to the requisition vide its letter dated 08.12.2014. On 28.09.2016 the respondent No. 2 issued a notification notifying to all the candidates who have been sponsored by the Employment Exchanges of Manipur for different posts, to collect the prescribed application forms on payment of requisite fees and that the application forms, duly filled up along with the relevant documents, should reach the office of the respondent No. 2 on or before 10.10.2016. It was also made clear that those candidates who had already obtained admit cards, need not submit fresh application forms.
3.3. On 18.10.2016, the respondent No.2 issued a notification informing the candidates including the petitioner that a common written would be held on 23.10.2016 in the subjects- General Knowledge (50 marks) and General English (50 marks) at Modern College, Imphal. The petitioner appeared in the said test with the hope that he would be successful therein. Without declaring the result of the common written test, the viva-voce for the post of Assistant Cinema Operator was held on 25.10.2016 in the office of the respondent No. 2 and the petitioner participated in the said viva-voce. The result of the said recruitment process was declared and an appointment order dated 03.12.2016 was issued by the respondent No.2. Although the petitioner had performed very well, he was not appointed at all.
3.4. Being suspicious about the selection process being undertaken by the respondents, the petitioner consulted one of his counsel who filed an application under the RTI Act for obtaining certain information from the respondent No.2 who furnished it vide letter dated 11.01.2017 along with copies of the documents submitted by the candidates. On perusal of the said documents, the petitioner came to know that the respondent Nos.3 and 5 who are listed at Sl. No.1 and 3 of the appointment order dated 03.12.2016, did not possess the requisite Cinematograph Operator Licence on or before the last date for submission of the application form and even on the date of written test and viva-voce. The said Cinematograph Operator Licenses produced by the respondent Nos. 3 and 5 indicate the dates of their issuance as 04.11.2016 and 13.10.2016 respectively when the last date for submission of the application form was 10.10.2016 and therefore, the respondent Nos.3 and 5 were not eligible for appointment to the post of Assistant Cinema Operators as they did not possess the requisite qualifications on or before the last date for submission of the application form. Pursuant to another application dt. 10.12.2016, filed under the RTI Act, the respondent No.2 furnished information vide its letter dated 06.04.2017 enclosing therewith the copies of the recruitment rules for the post of Assistant Cinema Operator.
3.5. Being aggrieved by the appointment order dated 03.12.2016, the instant writ petition has been filed by the petitioner on the inter-alia grounds that since the respondent Nos. 3 and 5 were not eligible on the last date for submission of the application form, their candidatures ought to have been rejected; that the petitioner was deprived of what he rightfully deserved and was penalized it for no fault of his; that the action of the respondents is unreasonable and arbitrary being violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. ;
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