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Writ petition against the Corrigendum by SPSC for amending the Advertisement dismissed by the Court: Hon’ble High Court Of Sikkim

The court dismissed the writ petition against the corrigendum issued by SPSC for amendment of the advertisement printed a month ago. The Hon’ble High Court of Sikkim before Hon’ble Mr. Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan held such in the matter of Dechen Ongmu Bhutia & Anr. Vs. Sikkim Public Service Commission & Anr.[W.P. (C) No.13 of 2018].

The facts of the case related to the writ petition wherein the petitioner were aggrieved by the corrigendum which was issued by the SPSC to amend the advertisement released earlier for the invitation of applications to fill up 100 posts of Assistant Professors under the Respondent No. 2 via direct recruitment process. The minimum qualification required was Masters Degree with 55% marks in the respective subjects, 5% relaxation for the exceptional categories. The word ‘M.Phil’ was removed by the corrigendum issued a month later.

The corrigendum was challenged by the aggrieved petitioners who had an M. Phil Degree. The petitioner pleaded to remove the corrigendum and allow them to sit for the interview for the Assistant Professor’s post. It was submitted by the petitioners that they were duly qualified for the post.

As per the UGC (Minimum Qualifications Required for the Appointment and Career Advancement of Teachers in Universities and Institutions Affiliated to it) (3rd Amendment), Regulation 2009, the candidates who have Ph.D. Degree shall be exempted from the minimum eligibility criteria of NET/SLET for the recruitment purpose.

Mr. A.K. Upadhyaya, learned Advocate representing the side of the petitioners, relied on the judgment of Sourav Kafley vs. Sikkim Public Service Commission[S.B.WP(C) No.19 of 2013] and said the matter was quite different in the case. Dr. Doma T. Bhutia, additional Advocate general from respondent no. 2 said “..it was for the respondent no.2 to decide what ought to be the minimum educational and other qualifications and the courts cannot interfere in such academic matters.” According to this, the petitioners have no right to direct and dictate the employer as to what are the required qualifications. If the word ‘M.Phil’ remained inserted in the advertisement then it would have gone against the service rules. Hence, the employers needed to issue the corrigendum to correct the mistake

Mr. A.K. Upadhyaya further asserted,”..the respondents could not have changed the “rule of the game” once they had started it. This court is afraid that the submission may not be correct since the corrigendum did not change the rule of the game. The service rules which the petitioners, as well as the respondents, are bound by provided for the minimum qualification required of the candidates. The advertisement could not have gone against the service. As the word ‘M.Phil’ appearing in the advertisement went against the grain of the service rules it was incumbent upon the SPSC to have issued the corrigendum.”

Instead of proving the qualification in National Eligibility Test, the petitioners argued for their selection because they have been working for a long time on adhoc basis. Also, the petitioner didn’t have the minimum qualification requirement.

The Hon’ble Court found ‘no merit in the present writ petition’, stated that the petitioners did not have the necessary qualification as had been required, and hence, dismissed the writ petition, with the application of stay being rendered infructuous.

Click Here To Read The Judgment.

Judgment Reviewed By Nimisha Dublish

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