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Court held that the candidate is entitled for promotion as holding him responsible for delay in joining is misconceived: Gujarat High Court

This particular decision is upheld by the High Court of Gujarat through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE BIREN VAISHNAV in the case of Bhalodiya Ravikumar Jaynatilal v. State of Gujarat (R/Special Civil Application No. 5192 of 2019).

Facts:

The instant petition was filed praying for a direction to quash and set aside the Seniority List of Multi-Purpose Health Workers (male). The Gujarat Panchayat Services Selection Board, issued an advertisement for recruitment to the post of Multi-Purpose Health Worker (male). The petitioner applied on-line. He was placed at serial no. 677, considering his written test marks at 55.80 plus additional marks for sports at 2.79 making a total merit secured as 58.59. The Rajkot District Panchayat Services Selection Board informed the petitioner that he would not be entitled to the additional 2.79 marks for sports as the certificate was of the school and the merit would be considered only as 55.80. Candidates who were selected along with the petitioner were offered appointments. Letter addressed by the petitioner to the respondent 3 indicating that even if his marks for the sports i.e. 2.79 marks are not considered, he would otherwise be on merit, and therefore, he would not insist on pressing for the additional marks as he would otherwise fall within the merit for preference for appointment. He was not issued an order of appointment and it was only on 08-07-2013 that the petitioner was offered appointment which he accepted and joined on 09-07-2013. Based on this date of joining, the petitioner is placed at merit seniority No. 184 in the seniority list which was under challenge.

 

Judgement:

The Court noted that it was undisputed that the first offer of appointment to the petitioner as well as to the candidates who in the seniority list of 31-08-2018 at serial nos. 105 and 106 were offered appointments together with the petitioner on 01-10-2012. merit was at 985 and 1053 respectively. Pursuant to the letter of 03-10-2012, the petitioner immediately on 09-10-2012 had offered himself for appointment minus the Certificate of Cricket categorically pointing out to the authorities that his name otherwise also falls within the merit. It took nine months and eight days for the respondents to react and respond and offered an appointment to the petitioner only on 08-07-2013 and the petitioner joined on 09-07-2013. The delay, therefore, cannot be attributed to the petitioner who had immediately within four days offered himself without insisting for the Certificate of Cricket and on consideration of the merit at 55.80 minus the score of 2.79 percent of cricket. Holding the petitioner responsible for the delay in joining is misconceived.

The Court reiterated Supreme Court’s observation in M.C.D. v. Veena,  where when found that even the OBC certificate was not produced, the respondent therein had been considered in the general category, would apply to the facts of the present case. The petition was allowed holding that consequential effect of quashing the placement at 184 of the petitioner would entitle him for being promoted to the post of Multi-Purpose Health Supervisor with effect from 08-03-2019 with all consequential benefits including arrears of pay.

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Judgement reviewed by – Arvind Roshan

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