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No State Employee Has The Right To Assume That The Regulations Controlling His Employment Will Stay the Same Indefinitely

Title:  Nirmala Vincent vs Union Of India & Ors..
Decided on: 3rd July, 2023

+  W.P. (C) 2742/2021 & CM APPL. 20040/2021CORAM: HON’BLE MR JUSTICESANJEEV SACHDEVA & HON’BLE MR JUSTICE VIKAS MAHAJAN 

Introduction

The Delhi High Court recently dealt with a case where a petitioner sought relief by challenging the condition issued by the Union of India, which required a degree in law as a qualification for an Assistant to be promoted to the post of Court Officer in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The court analyzed the competence of the State to change service rules and qualifications and refused to grant the relief sought by the petitioner.

Facts

The petitioner joined the Registrar of Companies, Delhi, as a Lower Division Clerk and later was appointed as a Lower Division Clerk at the Company Law Board (CLB) on a deputation basis. Subsequently, she was promoted to the post of Upper Division Clerk on a regular basis at the CLB. Later, in 2014, she was promoted to the post of Assistant on a regular basis. In 2016, she applied for the post of Court Officer in NCLT, New Delhi Bench on a deputation basis, and was selected for the same. However, she later resumed back to the post of Assistant. The petitioner sought the quashing of Recruitment Rules issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to the extent they required a degree in law as a mandatory qualification for promotion to the post of Court Officer.

Analysis

The Division Bench of the Delhi High Court referred to the Supreme Court’s decision in P.U. Joshi v. Accountant General, wherein it was held that the State has the exclusive discretion and jurisdiction to prescribe qualifications, conditions of service, avenues of promotions, and criteria for promotions. The Court emphasized that it is not for the Courts to direct the government on these matters or impose its views in place of the State’s discretion.

Held

Considering the Supreme Court’s ruling in the P.U. Joshi case, the Delhi High Court held that the State has the authority to change the rules relating to service, qualifications, and other conditions of service, as per the administrative exigencies. The Court declined to quash the condition that required a degree in law for an Assistant to be promoted to the post of Court Officer in NCLT. It found that the petitioner did not have the right to challenge the State’s authority to amend or alter service rules and held that the condition was not arbitrary or discriminatory. Therefore, the Court denied the relief sought by the petitioner. The Court further clarified that government servants have no inherent right to claim that the rules governing their service conditions remain the same throughout their tenure, except for safeguarding rights or benefits already earned or accrued. The Court held that it is within the competency of the State to modify and amend rules from time to time as per administrative exigencies.

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Written by- Ankit Kaushik

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IBC | It Is Not Arbitrary To Send A Demand Notice To A Personal Guarantor In Line With Rule 7(1)

Title:  Vineet Saraf v. Rural Electrification Corpn. Ltd. 
Decided on: 21st July, 2023

+ W.P. (C) 3293 of 2023

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE Purushaindra Kumar Yadav

Introduction

The case of Vineet Saraf v. Rural Electrification Corpn. Ltd. involves a writ petition filed by the petitioner to challenge an impugned demand notice issued by the respondent under Rule 7(1) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Application to Deciding Authority for Insolvency Resolution Procedure for Personal Guarantors to Corporate Debtors Rules, 2019. The petitioner, acting as a personal surety for a debt backed by a corporate guarantee, initiated a Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process against FACOR Power Ltd. The resolution process resulted in a Resolution Plan approved by NCLT, Cuttack, and upheld by NCLAT and the Supreme Court. The petitioner contended that the respondent had promised to transfer the entire debt and related rights to FACOR Power Ltd. The respondent, on the other hand, argued that the financial creditors retained the right to pursue securities, citing continuous personal guarantees and third-party collateral provided as security for the debt. The respondent issued a demand notice based on the petitioner’s personal guarantee, which was contested by the petitioner.

Facts

The petitioner, a personal guarantor, challenged the respondent’s demand notice under the 2019 Rules, arguing that the respondent had assigned all obligations to FACOR Power Ltd. without excluding personal guarantees. The petitioner claimed that this assignment hindered the use of his guarantee. The Court emphasized the distinction between an unconditional release and a commitment not to sue, stating that a reserve clause in a deed that releases the primary borrower protects the creditor’s right to pursue action against the guarantor.

Analysis of Court Order

Justice Purushaindra Kumar Yadav of the Delhi High Court’s Single Judge Bench rejected the petitioner’s argument that the guarantor had a legal right to be heard at a later stage. The Court opined that granting the petition would violate the procedural requirements of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016 and deprive the respondent of the opportunity to present their case before the relevant NCLT. The Court set down important guidelines for consideration but left the decision on the case’s merits to NCLT.

Held

The Delhi High Court denied the writ petition and refused to issue a writ of prohibition, emphasizing that it was not appropriate to create private commercial law to demonstrate the respondent’s lack of jurisdiction. The Court’s decision reiterated that the petitioner’s argument of having the right to be heard at a later stage was insufficient to proceed with the petition. The issue was left to NCLT’s determination based on the merits of the case.

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Written by- Ankit Kaushik

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Authorise OBC Candidate To Attend Interview For Senior Resident Doctor Position: Delhi High Court To AIIMS

Title: J. Vinutha V. All India Institute of Medical Sciences – AIIMS & Anr.
Ordered on: 31st June, 2023

+ W.P.(C) 9958/2023

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE CHANDRA DHARI SINGH

Introduction

The petitioner filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking several reliefs, including setting aside the rejection of her candidature from the OBC category to the unreserved category during the selection process for the post of Senior Residents/Senior Demonstrators. The petitioner also challenged the subsequent scrutiny done by the respondents after the issuance of the admit card and conducting the Computerized Examination (Stage-I). Additionally, the petitioner sought disclosure of marks and ranks scored by candidates in the Computerized Examination (Stage-I) and permission to participate in the Interview (Stage-II) scheduled for 2nd August 2023.

Facts

The petitioner applied for the post of Senior Resident in Conservative Denistry & Endodontics as a member of the OBC (NCL) category. She submitted her OBC caste certificate in the online application, but the respondents communicated via email that the certificate was not in the prescribed format. The petitioner resubmitted the certificate as per the prescribed format on the same day but received another rejection notification from the respondents. The respondents then issued an admit card on a provisional basis, and the petitioner appeared for the Recruitment Test (Stage-I). Subsequently, the results were declared, but marks and ranks were concealed, and the respondents rejected the petitioner’s candidature for the OBC category, stating that the certificate was submitted after the cut-off date.

Courts analysis and decision

The petitioner’s case raises important issues regarding the rejection of her candidature based on technical grounds related to her OBC caste certificate. The Court took note of the fact that the petitioner’s OBC status was not in dispute, and the certificate was issued by a competent authority. Despite this, the rejection of her candidature solely on the grounds of a technicality was found to be unfair and arbitrary.

The Court’s analysis considered the principle of equity and justice and emphasized that an overly rigid and hyper-technical approach should not be adopted in matters concerning caste certificates. It cited precedents from various High Courts and the Supreme Court that have consistently emphasized the need for a practical and reasonable approach while dealing with such issues.

In granting interim relief, the Court sought to protect the petitioner’s rights and interests by allowing her to participate in the Interview (Stage-II) scheduled for 2nd August 2023. This decision was based on the Court’s prima facie view that the rejection of the petitioner’s candidature was unjustified and required further consideration.

The Court also directed the respondents to file a counter affidavit within three weeks, giving them an opportunity to present their viewpoint. The petitioner was granted the right to file a rejoinder, if necessary, within two weeks after receiving the counter affidavit.

Overall, the Court’s holding reflected a balanced approach, ensuring that the petitioner’s rights were safeguarded and that her case would be heard with due consideration. The matter was scheduled for further consideration on 4th September 2023, indicating the Court’s commitment to resolving the issue in a fair and just manner.

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Written by- Ankit Kaushik

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