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The High Court may decline to intervene and grant relief in the exercise of its writ jurisdiction if the petitioner’s excessive delay in filing a writ petition is not sufficiently justified: Uttarakhand High Court

The High Court may decline to intervene and grant relief in the exercise of its writ jurisdiction if the petitioner’s excessive delay in filing a writ petition is not sufficiently justified is upheld by the Uttarakhand High Court in the case of Suneel Singh Bhandari v. State of Uttarakhand through a division bench led by Ramesh Ranganathan, CJ, and N.S. Dhanik, J

FACTS OF THE CASE

A writ petition that sought mandamus against respondents and directed them to re-fix the last cut-off marks for general candidates, to prepare the selected list as per the respective categories, and to appoint petitioner as per his merit in the general category was filed.

The petitioner applied for the position of Lecturer (Electronics), passed the screening exam, and received the required marks in the interview, but his name was not included in the list released by the respondent

He added that a number of additional applicants who had been chosen for various reserved categories had first been granted consideration for the general category, but the respondent had unfairly appointed them. It was further argued that the petitioner’s complaint was that he was denied the opportunity to be appointed to the post of Lecturer under the General category because the candidates who were selected in the screening test under the Reserved Categories were treated as in General Category after the process of interview was completed and they were appointed in General Category Posts. It was argued that these candidates were not qualified to be appointed, and that the vacancy created in the General category as a result should only be filled by the petitioner, who belonged to the General category. The aforementioned individuals should have been chosen and appointed in their respective reserved categories.

JUDGEMENT

The Uttarakhand High Court cited the Supreme Court case State of M.P. v. Nandlal Jaiswal,1986, where it was held that the power of the High Court to issue an appropriate writ under Article 226 of the Constitution is discretionary and that the High Court, in the exercise of its discretion, does not ordinarily assist the tardy and the indolent of the acquiescent and the lethargic. The Court did not pay much attention to the merits and facts of the case. The High Court may decline to intervene and grant relief in the exercise of its writ jurisdiction if the petitioner’s excessive delay in filing a writ petition is not sufficiently justified.

As a result, the petition was properly denied by the court, which generally does not allow a belated use of the extraordinary remedy available under the writ jurisdiction because it is likely to confuse the public, cause annoyance, and usher in new injustices.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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