Candidate Who Has Exercised Preference Cannot Seek Alteration Of The Same During Selection Process To Detriment Of Others – SC
A two-judge Bench of Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud and Justice AS Bopanna has held that a candidate cannot alter the declaration of details that were given during the selection process, to the detriment of other candidates.
The Supreme Court in this context observed –
"The candidate concerned had applied without demur and also furnished a declaration with regard to correctness of details provided. He cannot thereafter turn around to seek alteration of the position to the detriment of others."
Advocate Dr. Harsh Pathak appeared for the Appellant, while Advocate Mr. Pawan Reley appeared for Respondent No. 1 before the Court.
An appeal was preferred before the Apex Court assailing the judgment of the Division Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court which had affirmed the order of the Single Judge. The Single Judge had allowed the Writ Petition of the Respondents and directed the Appellant to consider Respondent No. 1 for the appointment on the post of Chief Municipal Officer (CMO) Grade Kh Assistant Director or any other post mentioned by Respondent No. 1.
In this case, the Appellant had issued an advertisement inviting online applications from eligible candidates for the State Service Examination 2016 under M.P. State Civil Services Rules, 2015 for the various category of posts under the State of Madhya Pradesh in different departments. Respondent No. 1 submitted his application and had shown his order of preference. The Respondent had applied under the SC category but did not obtain sufficient marks to be selected for the post as per his first preference. The Respondent was selected for the post which was his second preference. It appeared before the Medical Board that his height was only 162 cms. as against the prescribed minimum height of 168 cms. Therefore, Respondent was not eligible to be appointed for the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police.
Aggrieved, by such a decision, Respondent approached before the High Court.
The Apex Court noted that Rule 4(3)(c)(2) of Rules 2015 was clear and specific that the category-wise recommendation of the candidates would be made according to the marks obtained by them and the preference sheet submitted by the candidate.
Further, the Bench observed that the additional eligibility criteria regarding the height of the candidate were also mentioned clearly in the advertisement and was well within the knowledge of Respondent No. 1, in this context, the Court additionally opined –
"The same would indicate that a declaration is made to the effect that all the information given by him are true and correct and that it is within his knowledge that in the event of furnishing incorrect and false information, proceedings can be initiated against him."
The Court also held, "The declaration is explicit that the choice of preference to the post has been made by him since according to him he has fulfilled the prescribed eligibility criteria, including physical measurement."
"If the respondent No.1 who had made declaration about the of his eligibility and secured the selection to be placed in the main list for the said post, he has to blame himself if found ineligible since his height was admittedly 162 cms. which was in fact within his knowledge," the Bench added.
"The candidate concerned had applied without demur and also furnished a declaration with regard to correctness of details provided. He cannot thereafter turn around to seek alteration of the position to the detriment of others," the Court noted.
The Court further held that the High Court was not justified in its conclusion.
Accordingly, the Court set aside the impugned order of the High Court and allowed the appeal.