W.P.(C) 4463/2021 & CM APPL. 13643/2021 (interim relief)
GAURAV PALIWAL v. CENTRAL WAREHOUSING CORPORATION & ORS.
The petitioner has approached this Court being aggrieved by the decision of the Central Warehousing Corporation(respondent no.1) to reject his candidature for the post of Superintendent (General) in the corporation on the ground that he had failed to produce a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from his employer Union Bank of India (respondent no.3). The writ petition was before the HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE REKHA PALLI.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
On 14.09.2018, an advertisement was issued by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (the IBPS) inviting applications for recruitment to various clerical posts in different banks. The petitioner on 08.02.2019 applied for the post of Superintendent (General). During this period his application for appointment to Union Bank of India (respondent no.3) bank was pending consideration.
As per the advertisement on 08.02.2019, the selection process for appointment to the post consisted of two stages. Preliminary was an online examination and the second being the interview. The petitioner appeared in the online examination on 29.05.2019 and received information for selection of the interview on 17.07.2019, this to be held on 12.10.2019.
After the petitioner had appeared in the online examination, he on 05.07.2019, received an offer of appointment from the Union Bank of India and joined their services as a clerical cadre on 08.07.2019.
The petitioner states that after he was informed that he was to appear in the interview/document verification for the post of Superintendent (General) on 12.10.2019. Therefore, he approached the Union Bank of India (respondent no.3) for issuance of a NOC but was informed that since his application in response to the advertisement issued by the IBPS had not been forwarded through Union Bank of India, therefore no NOC could be issued by them.
The petitioner, appeared in the interview on 12.10.2019 conducted by Central Warehousing Corporation for the post of Superintendent (General) without producing any NOC from his employer, i.e., Union Bank of India. At the time of the interview, he does not mentions about being already employed.
The petitioner, received an offer of appointment from by Central Warehousing Corporation on 02.12.2020 and sent his acceptance on 07.12.2020. As per the terms of this offer of appointment, the petitioner reported at the regional office of the said corporation at Delhi when he disclosed to the concerned officer that he was working with the Union Bank of India and was therefore informed that he would not be permitted to join unless he produced a NOC and relieving letter from his employer Union Bank of India.
In this situation, the petitioner on 17.12.2020, submitted his resignation to the Union Bank of India, which was accepted and a relieving letter was issued to him on 29.12.2020.
The petitioner, then approached the Central Warehousing Corporation to know his status of joining the services to the post of Superintendent (General), but was informed that he could not be permitted to join unless he produced the requisite documents from his former employment. Even after being granted further time he failed to produce the NOC, resulting in cancellation of appointment on 22.02.2021.
As per the above letter (dated 22.02.2021), the petitioner’s candidature was cancelled on the ground of suppression of information regarding his previous employment with Union Bank of India at the time of interview as also his failure to produce a NOC from the them at the time of document verification.
Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that when the petitioner in pursuance to the advertisement dated 08.02.2019 applied for selection to the post of Superintendent (General), he was not gainfully employed and had, therefore, rightly not mentioned in his application form about his being employed elsewhere. However, since by the time he was called for interview, he had joined the services of Union Bank of India, he had orally informed the interview board about his being employed and hence his inability to produce any NOC from the said bank. He submits that he was informed by the interview board that in these circumstances, there was no requirement for him to submit a NOC and he could, therefore, complete the remaining formalities of document verification. Even after several requests, the Union Bank of India refused to issue him a NOC, he has now resigned from the services and, therefore cannot now be asked to produce any NOC. He also submits to the court that the Central Warehousing Corporation has failed to appreciate this aspect. He, therefore, prays that the communication of cancellation of appointment on 22.02.2021, rejecting the petitioner’s candidature be set aside and the Central Warehousing Corporation be directed to appoint him to the post of Superintendent (General) with all consequential benefits.
Being aggrieved, the petitioner submitted a representation to the Union Bank of India on 01.03.2021, which remained unanswered. Thus, resulting in approaching the Court by way of the current petition.
Learned counsel for respondent no.1 (Central Warehousing Corporation), opposes the petition by stating that the petitioner having willfully suppressed information at the time of submitting the check-list on 12.10.2019 for verification of documents, therefore his candidature was rightly rejected.
As per the terms of the advertisement, it was mandatory upon all candidates to provide a NOC from their current employer in case they were employed in a nationalized bank like the Union Bank of India. In the present case, the petitioner neither produced the NOC nor disclosed in the check-list that he was employed. He, therefore, contends that the petitioner is not only guilty of concealing information, but has also failed to produce a NOC, which was a mandatory requirement in terms of the advertisement. He, therefore, prays that the writ petition be dismissed.
While issuing the advertisement the Central Warehousing Corporation had made it clear to all the prospective candidates that, in case, they were employed in any Government/quasi government offices/ Public Sector Undertakings (including Nationalised Banks and Financial Institutions), it would be mandatory to produce a NOC from their current employer at the time of document verification/interview.
In the current case, it is an admitted that as on the date of interview (12.10.2019), the petitioner was gainfully employed with Union Bank of India and therefore, the requirement to furnish the NOC was duly applicable to the petitioner.
The petitioner, having failed to comply with this mandate requirement of furnishing a NOC at the time of interview, cannot now be permitted to take the plea that since he was not employed at the time of submitting his application form, there was no requirement on his part to furnish a NOC. Once the petitioner was employed with the Union Bank of India on the date of the interview, it was mandatory for him to submit the requisite NOC. In case, he was not able to, for any reason, obtain a NOC, the least which was expected from him was to disclose at the time of filling up the check-list for verification of documents on 12.10.2019 about his employment status and his inability to procure such NOC.
The Central Warehousing Corporation is, therefore, justified in urging that the petitioner had concealed information and as while filling up the check-list for document verification on 12.10.2019, the petitioner against the column of NOC from the current employer had simply stated ‘Not Applicable’. Thus, the petitioner’s contention that he had orally informed the interview board about his being employed cannot be accepted as the extract of the check-list was filled by him in his own hand.
The petitioner failed to produce any NOC despite having been granted repeated extensions. The court held that it as per the reasons stated above, finds no defects in the decision of Central Warehousing Corporation to cancel the offer of appointment made to the petitioner.
The writ petition was dismissed on the grounds of being meritless.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ADITYA G S.