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When the criteria are notified in the guidelines such guidelines have to be interpreted as it is without deviating the same keeping in mind the facts of a particular case.: Supreme Court

The Court will have to consider the guidelines which were applicable during the relevant time as held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court through the learned bench led by Justice R. Subhash Reddy in the case of Kumari Rekha Bharati v. The State of Bihar & Ors.  [CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6875 OF 2021] (Arising out of Special Leave Petition(C) No.32215 of 2017)

The brief facts of the case are that in the year 2006, an advertisement was issued by the Mukhiya / Panchayat Secretary, Gram Panchayat Mirapur Panchayat, inviting applications for appointment of Anganwadi Sevika in Panchayat Centre No.43/09 of Gram Panchayat Mirapur, district Muzaffarpur. For the aforesaid purpose, a merit list was prepared in which 9th Respondent herein, was placed at Sl.No.01 and the appellant was at Sl.No.02. In first round of litigation, when the appellant was appointed, the same was questioned by the 9th Respondent by filing a complaint. Based on the complaint, the appointment of the appellant was cancelled by the District Programme Officer, Muzaffarpur. When the cancellation was challenged, High Court While quashing the termination of the appellant, issued directions to the District Magistrate to pass appropriate orders after hearing both the parties. Pursuant to the order of the High Court, the District Magistrate, Muzaffarpur has passed orders on relying on clause 3 (Anga) of guidelines dated 03.10.2006, holding that the 9th Respondent herein, was ineligible for appointment, on the ground that at the relevant time, her father was a government teacher. The order of the District Magistrate, Muzaffarpur was confirmed by the Appellate Authority. As against the order of cancellation of the appointment, as confirmed by the Appellate Authority, 9th Respondent herein, has filed a writ petition before the High Court. The writ petition was allowed by the learned Single Judge by order dated 07.09.2016. The order of the learned Single Judge was subject matter of Letters Patent Appeal No. 1988 of 2016. By impugned order dated 26.04.2017, the Division Bench of the High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the appellant herein, confirming the order of the learned Single Judge. Thus, the appellant in Letters Patent Appeal before the High Court, is appellant before this Court in the present appeal.

After the perusal of the facts and arguments, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held, “It is brought to our notice that such Clause 3(E) of the guidelines was struck down subsequently by the High Court on 06.05.2010. As much as the selection relates to the year 2006, we have to consider the guidelines which were applicable during the relevant time. At the same time in view of the subsequent development, no direction can be granted to appoint the appellant, and selections are to be made by issuing fresh notification. For the aforesaid reasons, this Civil Appeal is allowed.”

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Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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