Timelines in designating EWS certificates should be viewed from a prism of pragmatism and not dogmatic fervour: High Court of Delhi

If delayed submission of the Income and Asset Certificate/EWS certificate does not harm or cause detriment to anyone’s interest, some slack can be cut  as held by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi through the learned bench lead by Justice Rajiv Shakdher in the case of Northern Coalfields Limited v. Chaman Gupta & Anr. (LPA 364/2021 and CM Nos. 35520-21/2021)

The brief facts of the case are that this appeal is directed against the judgment passed by the learned single judge. The issue, which arose for consideration before the learned single judge, was, as to whether respondent no.1 ought to be given leeway for production of the Income and Asset Certificate, concerning the relevant financial year. It is not in dispute that, respondent no.1 qualified the written LPA examination, and was issued a provisional appointment letter, against the subject post reserved for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category.

Mr. Vikramjeet Banerjee, learned Additional Solicitor General (ASG), who appears on behalf of the appellant, submitted that, the learned single judge erred in directing the concerned authority, working under the sway of the Government of NCT of Delhi to examine the representation filed by respondent no.1 for issuance of Income and Asset Certificate concerning the relevant FY i.e., 2019-2020. The appellant is aggrieved by the direction issued by the learned single judge, whereby it has been provided that respondent no.1 will continue to work with the appellant till such time, respondent no.1’s representation is considered by GNCTD.

After hearing both the parties at length, the Hon’ble High Court held, “ The inaction of GNCTD i.e., respondent no.3 in the writ in not processing respondent’s request to issue an Income and Asset Certificate/EWS certificate for the relevant FY i.e., 2019-2020—did furnish a cause of action in favour of the respondent. Therefore, it is not a case where courts in Delhi could not have exercised jurisdiction. The failure on the part of the appellant to press the objection at the appropriate stage has denuded the appellant of the right to question the institution of the action in this court. The objection with regard to territoriality, in law, is markedly different from objection concerning subject matter jurisdiction. The latter can be raised, at any stage. Therefore, for the aforesaid reasons, we are not inclined, as noted above, to interdict the judgment of the learned single judge. The appeal is, accordingly, dismissed.”

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Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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