JASVINDER SINGH Vs. STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: JAMMU & KASHMIR)
STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
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(1.)The above appeals have been filed against the common judgment dated 29th May, 1998 in a batch of appeals - LPA (SW) 85 of 1997 etc. and those in which subsequently the same was followed of a Division bench of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir at Jammu whereunder, while allowing the appeals, the Division Bench set aside the judgment of the learned Single Judge and ordered the dismissal of the writ petitions.
(2.)The subject matter in issue pertains to a challenge to the selections made for the appointment of Sub-Inspectors of Police - Executive/ armed Police in the State. Applications were invited by Public notices dated 20th August, 1991, fixing the last date for receipt from all eligible persons, indicating the required, qualifications, therefor. Candidates, it was proclaimed will have to undergo (a) physical measurement test; (b) outdoor test; (c) written test and (d) viva voce test. After conducting all such tests the list of candidates approved for appointment was said to have been published on 26.11.1992, consisting of about 110 names and the same was subject to verification of character and antecedents, medical fitness and fulfilment of other formalities. Subsequently, it appears that out of 18 selected candidates summoned for verification twelve candidates presented themselves and out of them nine were found to be in shortage of chest measurements and one found to be of under height and therefore excluded from the list of candidates to be appointed.
(3.)The appellants who filed writ petitions participated in the selections but could not be selected for one or the other reason and aggrieved they filed writ petitions in the High court challenging the selections. The learned single Judge who heard the writ petitions found and in the course of the order specifically recorded that the controversy in the cases stood narrowed down to two grounds viz. (i) the marks allocated for viva-voce at 25 in comparison to the marks earmarked for written test at 100. worked out to 20% and the same being in excess of 12 1/2% stood vitiated on account of the law declared by this Court in the decision reported in Ashok Kumar Yadav and others vs. State of Haryana and others-, AIR 1987 sc 454 = 1985 (4) SCC 417 and therefore the selections stood vitiated and are liable to be set aside the (ii) that the marks in viva-voce was not properly awarded and that not only there was a farce of an interview of every candidate within few minutes but questions put were also irrelevant and not related to the selection for the posts in question. Over ruling the objections of the respondent State and authorities of the Department, the learned Single judge held (a) that the marks allocated at 25 for the viva-voce was against the law declared by this Court in Ashok Kumar Yadav's case (supra) and therefore stood vitiated and (b) on going through the records it was found that the marks in the interview seem to have been awarded with a conscious effort to bring up candidates who figured with low marks in the written test by awarding more marks in the viva-voce and low marks awarded to those who secured higher percentage in written test. Therefore the learned Single Judge held that there is no option but to believe that the marks were given in the viva-voce for extraneous consideration. Thereupon the learned Single Judge expressed the view that he was not inclined to quash the appointment of selected candidates which may upset the whole department and operate harshly upon the selected candidates, and instead directed that all those writ petitioners falling in general category who had obtained 56 marks or above in the written examination shall be entitled for appointment as sub-Inspectors of Police, since the last candidate already selected and appointed in general category had obtained 56 marks in the Written examination.
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