Bishnu Biswas and Ors. Versus Union of India (UOI) and Ors.

Bishnu Biswas and Ors.                                                                  Appellants

Union of India (UOI) and Ors. –                                                    Respondents
Orissa Judicial Service Rules

Challenging the said appointments, the unsuccessful candidates filed Original Application before the Tribunal which was allowed, quashing such appointments as equal marks were reserved for both the written examination and interview which was impermissible in law and that the interview was never part of the recruitment process and thereby ordering initiation of fresh recruitment process. The appointees/Appellants challenged the said order before the High Court, which upheld the reasoning of the Tribunal but modified the order to the extent of continuing the recruitment process from the point it stood vitiated. Termination letters were issued to Appellants. Hence, the present appeals. Held, in case the statutory rules prescribed a particular mode of selection, it had to be given strict adherence accordingly. In case, no procedure was prescribed by the rules and there was no other impediment in law, the competent authority while laying down the norms for selection may prescribe for the tests and further specify the minimum benchmarks for written test as well as for viva voce. In P. Mohanan Pillai v. State of Kerala and Ors., this Court had held that it was now well-settled that ordinarily rules which were prevailing at the time, when the vacancies arose would be adhered to. The qualification must be fixed at that time. The eligibility criteria as also the procedures as was prevailing on the date of vacancy should ordinarily be followed. In the instant case, the rules of the game had been changed after conducting the written test and admittedly not at the stage of initiation of the selection process. The marks allocated for the oral interview had been the same as for written test i.e. 50% for each. The manner in which marks had been awarded in the interview to the candidates indicated lack of transparency. The fact that today the so-called selected candidates were not in employment was also a relevant factor to decide the case finally. If the whole selection were cancelled most of the candidates would be ineligible at least in respect of age as the advertisement was issued more than six years ago. Thus, in the facts of this case the direction of the High Court to continue with the selection process from the point it stood vitiated did not require interference. Cases referred to: i. State of U.P. v. Rafiquddin and Ors., ii. Jasvinder Singh and Ors. v. State of J and K and Ors. Hence, the appeals were dismissed….read more