The Supreme Court reiterated that a candidate applying for a post cannot be punished or made to suffer for no lapse on his part or for no fault of his.

The Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Hima Kohli observed that the delay in producing U.P. Council registration either at the time of submitting the applications forms or even at the time of verification of the documents could not be attributed to the appellants as there was no fault on the part of the appellants. "Therefore, for no fault(s) of theirs, the appellants could not have been made to suffer." held the Apex Court.

In this case, the appellants had submitted applications for appointment for the post of Health Worker (Female)with the Uttar Pradesh Nurses and Midwife Council, Lucknow (U.P. Council). All the appellants were registered with the M.P. Council but for this particular post they were required to get themselves registered with the U.P. Council, and issuance of such registration took time. Due to which, the respective appellants could not produce the U.P. Council registration during the verification of documents. And, thus, were not considered for the appointment.

The appellants approached the High Court by preferring a writ petition which was dismissed and the appellants were held ineligible for the appointment. Assailing the judgment and order of the High Court, appeal was preferred before this Court.

Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava appeared for the appellants and Advocates Vishnu Shankar Jain and Megha Karnwal appeared for the respondents.

The Apex Court noted that though the issue involved in the case was directly covered by the decision of this Court in the case of Narender Singh Vs. State of Haryana and Ors.; (2022) 3 SCC 286, the High Court by dismissing the writ petition had mis-read the judgment as in that case this Court had specifically laid down the law that if it was found that there was no lapse/delay on the part of the applicant, he could not be punished for no fault attributable to him.

"Once it was found that there was no lapse/delay on the part of the applicant and/or there was no fault of the appellant/applicant in not producing the NOC at the relevant time, he cannot be punished for the same." observed the Court.

Therefore, the Apex Court held that the impugned judgment passed by the High Court was unsustainable and further directed the respondents to appoint the appellants to the post of Health Worker (Female).

Accordingly, the appeal was allowed.

Cause Title- Kumari Laxmi Saroj & Ors. v. State of U.P. & Ors.

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