The Bombay High Court dismissed a writ petition filed by a candidate declared ineligible for Ph. D Programme due to his non-completion of the mandatory 5 year service clause.
Title: Arun Kumar v. AIIMS
Decided on: July 24, 2023
Citation: 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 1521
CORAM: HON’BLE JUSTICE A.S. CHANDURKAR AND JUSTICE VRUSHALI V. JOSH
The Bombay High Court dismissed a writ petition filed by a candidate declared ineligible for Ph. D Programme by assessing his status of completion of the mandatory 5 year service clause.
Facts of the Case
Petitioner filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking declaration that he satisfies the eligibility criteria of rendering minimum continuous service of five years as a regular employee of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur for appearing in the entrance examination for the Ph.D. programme, July 2023 session. His name was not present in the list of eligible candidates as an in service candidate in the notice published on 20.7.2023. In the light of the certificate issued by the Director and Chief Executive Officer, AIIMS on 14.6.2023 coupled with the approval given by the Head of the Department where the petitioner was serving he was eligible to appear at the entrance examination. Having joined as a service candidate on 16.8.2018 the period of five years would have been completed on 15.8.2023 and as the date for joining the Ph.D. programme was 31.8.2023, hence prior to that last date the petitioner would have completed five years of continuous service. The candidature of the petitioner has been treated as ineligible by misconstruing clause 10.1 of the prospectus.
Court Analysis and Judgement:
The Court however sided with the Deputy Solicitor General of India for the respondent who pointed out that the last date for submission of hard copy of the application was 5.7.2023 and the petitioner had not completed the period of continuous service of five years on that date he was rightly held ineligible for participating in the entrance examination. The question of eligibility ought to be determined as existing on the last date of making of such application and not the last date for joining the Ph.D. programme. On the last date of making the application for seeking admission to the Ph.D. programme, July 2023 the petitioner did not satisfy the requirements of clause 10.1 of the prospectus as he had not rendered the minimum continuous service of five years on the last date of submission of application. He would have completed the five year continuous service on 15.8.2023. Since the last date of submission of application forms by hard copy was 5.7.2023 it was necessary for a candidate to have satisfied the requirements of clause 10.1 as on that date. When the final list of eligible candidates was published on 19.7.2023 the petitioner had not completed continuous service of five years. Since the petitioner is not found to be eligible to appear in the entrance examination as on the last date of submission of applications, no fault can be found with the notice dated 10.7.2023 that finds the petitioner ineligible to appear in the said examination for having not completed continuous service of five years on the last date of submitting the application. Due to lack of any merit in the writ petition, the court hence accordingly dismissed the petition with no costs.
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Written by- Reema Nayak