Chief Manager Punjab National … vs Anit Kumar Das on 3 November, 2020


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Supreme Court of India

Chief Manager Punjab National … vs Anit Kumar Das on 3 November, 2020

Author: Ashok Bhushan

Bench: Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy, M.R. Shah

                                                       1


                                                                             REPORTABLE

                                    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                                      CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                      CIVIL APPEAL NO.3602 OF 2020
                                   [Arising out of SLP (C) No. 8343 of 2020]



          Chief Manager, Punjab National Bank & Anr.                        .. Appellants

                                                     Versus

          Anit Kumar Das                                                    .. Respondent



                                               JUDGMENT

M. R. Shah, J.

1. Leave granted.

Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned

judgment and order dated 22.11.2019 passed by the Division

Bench of the High Court of Orissa at Cuttack in Writ Appeal No.

278 of 2019, by which the Division Bench of the High Court has
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
ARJUN BISHT
Date: 2020.11.03
16:57:10 IST
Reason:

dismissed the appeal preferred by the appellant herein and has
2

confirmed the judgment and order dated 13.03.2019 passed by the

learned single Judge of the High Court in W.P. (C) No. 19261 of

2016, by which the learned single Judge allowed the said writ

petition preferred by the respondent herein and directed the

appellant Bank to allow the respondent herein – original writ

petitioner to discharge his duties as a Peon as per the appointment

order dated 03.10.2016, the employer – Punjab National Bank has

preferred the present appeal.

2. Applications were invited by the appellant Bank for the post of

Peon by publishing an advertisement in the local newspaper. The

eligibility criteria mentioned in the said advertisement was that a

candidate should have passed 12th class or its equivalent with basic

reading/writing knowledge of English. It specifically provided that

a candidate should not be a Graduate as on 01.01.2016. A

candidate was also required to submit the bio­data as per the

prescribed format. The respondent herein, though a Graduate,

applied for the said post. However, neither in the application nor in

the bio­data, he disclosed that he was a graduate. At this stage, it

required to be noted that the eligibility criteria and the educational
3

qualification prescribed above was as per the Circular Letter No. 25

of 2008 dated 06.11.2008 issued by the Human Resources

Development Division (for short “HRD Division”) of the Bank

specifying the guidelines for recruitment of staff in subordinate

cadre in the bank and prescribing the eligibility criteria. That on

the basis of the information provided by the applicants in their

applications, a list of eligible candidates was prepared on the basis

of the marks obtained in 10th Class and 12th Class. As per Circular

dated 04.03.2016 issued by the HRD Division of the Bank, the

selection of the peons was required to be made on the basis of the

percentage of marks obtained by the candidates in 10 th standard

and 12th standard. That so far as the respondent herein – original

writ petitioner is concerned, based on the information provided by

him in his application, his name appeared in the selected

candidates of Balsar District. That an order of appointment was

issued. It appears that while scrutiny of the documents was going

on, the appellant Bank came to know about a graduate certificate

showing that the respondent – original writ petitioner was a

graduate since 2014. Thus, it was noticed and found that he was
4

not eligible as per the advertisement and the Circulars and that the

respondent deliberately, wilfully and intentionally suppressed the

fact that he was a graduate. Therefore, his candidature was

cancelled and he was not allowed to join the bank in subordinate

cadre. That, thereafter, the respondent filed the writ petition before

the High Court, being Writ Petition (C) No. 19261 of 2016, for an

appropriate order to allow him to discharge his duties as Peon as

per the appointment order dated 03.10.2016 and to further direct

that his appointment may not be cancelled on the ground that he

has possessed higher qualification. That the said petition was

opposed by the bank by filing a detailed affidavit­in­reply. It was

specifically pointed out that the eligibility criteria and the

educational qualification was fixed as per the Circular letter No. 25

of 2008 dated 06.11.2008 issued by the HRD Division of the Bank.

It was also pointed out that on 04.03.2016 the HRD Division issued

another Circular letter No. 6 of 2016 pursuant to the decision of the

Bank’s Board in their meeting dated 29.02.2016, by which it was

decided that the selection of the Peons will be made on the basis of

the percentage of marks obtained by the candidates in 10 th
5

standard and 12th standard. It was also submitted that the

respondent deliberately, wilfully and intentionally suppressed the

material fact that he was a graduate. It was pointed out that had it

been known to the bank that he was a graduate, he would not have

at all been considered for selection as a peon in the bank. Despite

the above, the learned single Judge of the High Court allowed the

said writ petition solely relying upon the decision of the Allahabad

High Court in Civil Writ Petition No. 69034 of 2019 [Pankaj Kumar

Dubey v. Punjab National Bank], in which the Allahabad High

Court referring to the judgment and order passed by this Court in

Civil Appeal No. 1010 of 2000 dated 11.02.2000 [Mohd. Riazul

Usman Gani v. District and Sessions Judge, Nagpur) held that a

candidate cannot be denied the appointment solely on the ground

that he is possessing a higher qualification. The learned single

Judge directed the bank to allow the respondent herein to discharge

his duties as a Peon as per the appointment order dated

03.10.2016.

2.1 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment and order

passed by the learned single Judge allowing the aforesaid writ
6

petition and directing the bank to allow the respondent –original

writ petitioner to discharge his duties as a Peon as per the

appointment order dated 03.10.2016, the appellant Bank preferred

the writ appeal before the Division Bench of the High Court. By the

impugned judgment and order, which as such is a non­speaking

and unreasoned order, the Division Bench of the High Court has

dismissed the appeal and has not interfered with the judgment and

order passed by the learned single Judge. Hence, the present

appeal.

3. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant Bank

has vehemently submitted that in the facts and circumstances of

the case, more particularly, when in the advertisement it was

specifically mentioned that a candidate should not be a graduate as

on 01.01.2016 and that it specifically provided that a candidate

should have passed 12th class or its equivalent with basic

reading/writing knowledge of English and the educational

qualification/eligibility criteria mentioned in the advertisement was

as per Circulars dated 06.11.2008 and 04.03.2016 issued by the

HRD Division of the Bank and admittedly the respondent – original
7

writ petitioner was a graduate as on 01.01.2016 and therefore not

eligible even to apply, both, the learned single Judge as well as the

Division Bench of the High Court have materially erred in directing

the appellant Bank to allow the original writ petitioner to perform

his duties as a Peon pursuant to the appointment order dated

03.10.2016.

3.1 It is further submitted on behalf of the appellant Bank that in

the present case the original writ petitioner did not challenge the

eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in the

advertisement. He never challenged the circular prescribing the

educational qualification/eligibility criteria. It is submitted that

once having not challenged the eligibility criteria/educational

qualification mentioned in the advertisement, and thereafter having

participated in the recruitment process, it is not open for him to

contend that he cannot be denied appointment on the ground of

having higher qualification.

3.2 It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on

behalf of the appellant Bank that the High Court has clearly erred

in relying upon the decision of the Allahabad High Court, in which
8

the decision of this Court in Mohd. Riazul Usman Gani (supra)

was relied upon. It is submitted that in the case of Mohd. Riazul

Usman Gani (supra) this Court has specifically stated in Para 21

that the said decision is on the facts of the case in hand and should

not be understood as laying down a rule of universal application.

3.3 It is submitted that even otherwise it is required to be noted

that the said Circulars dated 06.11.2008 and 04.03.2016 were

issued prescribing the eligibility criteria/educational qualification

on the basis of the decision approved by the Board of the Bank and

considering the nature of the post – Peon/subordinate cadre and a

conscious decision was taken by the bank that a candidate having

the qualification of graduation shall not be eligible and the

candidate who passed in 12th standard or its equivalent with basic

reading/writing knowledge of English shall only be eligible. It is

submitted therefore apart from the fact that the original writ

petitioner did not challenge the eligibility criteria/educational

qualification mentioned in the advertisement, once a conscious

decision was taken by the employer – bank prescribing a specific

qualification, thereafter unless it is found to be most arbitrary, the
9

same cannot be the subject­matter of a judicial review. Reliance is

placed on the decisions of this Court in the cases of J.

Rangaswamy v. Government of Andhra Pradesh (1990) 1 SCC

288, Yogesh Kumar v. Government of NCT of Delhi (2003) 3 SCC

548 and a recent decision of this Court in the case of Zahoor

Ahmad Rather v. Imtiyaz Ahmad (2019) 2 SCC 404.

3.4 It is further submitted by the learned counsel appearing on

behalf of the appellant Bank that even otherwise on the ground that

the respondent – original writ petitioner deliberately and willfully

suppressed the material fact of having been graduate and did not

disclose the same even in the bio­data which was required to be

submitted in the prescribed form, the High Court has materially

erred in directing the appellant Bank to allow the respondent –

original writ petitioner to perform his duties as a Peon as per the

appointment order dated 03.10.2016 which, as such, was already

cancelled. Reliance is placed on the decisions of this Court in the

cases of State of Orissa v. Bibhisan Kanhar (2017) 8 SCC 608

and in the case of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan v. Ram Ratan
10

Yadav (2003) 3 SCC 437. It is submitted that had it been known to

the bank that he was a graduate, he would not have at all been

considered for selection as a Peon in the bank. It is submitted that

based on the bio­data and the application submitted by him, in

which he gave the particulars of having passed 12 th standard, his

candidature was accepted. It is submitted that before he was

permitted to resume/join the duty, the bank came to know that he

was a graduate since 2014 and therefore was not eligible at all and

thereafter his candidature was cancelled and he was not allowed to

join the duty. It is submitted that therefore the High Court has

erred in directing the appellant bank to allow the respondent –

original writ petitioner to discharge his duties as Peon as per the

appointment order dated 03.10.2016.

4. The present appeal is vehemently opposed by the learned

counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent – original writ

petitioner. It is vehemently submitted on behalf of the respondent –

original writ petitioner that as rightly held by the High Court relying

upon the decision of this Court in the case of Mohd. Riazul Usman

Gani (supra) and the decision of the Allahabad High Court in the
11

case of Pankaj Kumar Dubey (supra), the higher qualification

cannot be a disqualification. It is submitted that in the case of

Mohd. Riazul Usman Gani (supra), this Court has deprecated the

criteria of maximum qualification for the post of Peon. It is

submitted that therefore, as such, the High Court has not

committed any error in directing the appellant Bank to permit the

respondent – original writ petitioner to discharge his duties as a

Peon pursuant to the appointment order dated 03.10.2016. It is

submitted that the appointment of respondent – original writ

petitioner was cancelled mainly/solely on the ground that he was

having a higher qualification. It is submitted that in the present

case the eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in

the advertisement was 12th standard and cannot be said to be a

maximum educational qualification and therefore merely because

the respondent­original writ petitioner was having a higher

qualification than 12th standard, his candidature could not have

been cancelled.

4.1 Making the above submission it is prayed to dismiss the

present appeal.

12

5. We have heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the

respective parties at length. The appellant Bank invited the

applications for the post Peon by giving an advertisement in the

local newspaper. In the advertisement itself, it was specifically

mentioned that a candidate should have passed 12 th class or its

equivalent with basic reading/writing knowledge of English and

should not be a graduate as on 01.01.2016. Thus, as per the

eligibility criteria mentioned in the advertisement, a candidate who

was having qualification of graduate was not eligible even to apply.

From the counter filed on behalf of the Bank before the High Court,

it appears that the educational qualification mentioned in the

advertisement was as per Circular letter No. 25 of 2008 dated

06.11.2008 issued by the HRD Division of the bank. The relevant

portion of the Circular letter No. 25 of 2008 dated 06.11.2008 reads

as under:

“Age Minimum – 18 years
Maximum – 24 years with applicable relaxations.

Education: Pass in 12th Standard or its equivalent with
basic reading/writing knowledge of English (Graduates
are not eligible)”
13

5.1 It appears that thereafter on 04.03.2016 the HRD Division of

the Bank issued another Circular Letter No. 6 of 2016 indicating

therein that the process of conducting interviews for recruitment of

posts in subordinate cadre has since been discontinued, the Bank’s

Board in its meeting 29.02.2016 has approved an alternative

mechanism in lieu of interviews for recruitment of Peons in

subordinate cadre selection on the basis of percentage of marks

obtained by the candidates in 10 th standard and 12th standard.

Therefore, the appointments to the post of subordinate staff/Peons

were required to be made strictly in accordance with the eligibility

criteria mentioned in the Circular letter No. 25 of 2008 dated

06.11.2008 and the selection of the Peons was required to be made

as per Circular letter No. 6 of 2016 dated 04.3.2016.

5.2 It is not in dispute that pursuant to the said advertisement,

respondent herein – original writ petitioner applied for the post of

Peon. However, in the application/bio­data, he did not disclose that

he is a graduate from 2014. He only mentioned his qualification as

12th pass. On the basis of the information provided by him in his

application, his application was entertained and he was selected on
14

the basis of the marks obtained in 10 th class and 12th class.

Therefore, the respondent – original writ petitioner deliberately,

wilfully and intentionally suppressed the fact that he was a

graduate. Had it been known to the bank that he was a graduate,

he would not have at all been considered for selection as a Peon in

the bank. That thereafter and before the original writ petitioner

was permitted to resume his duty pursuant to the appointment

order dated 03.10.2016, the bank came to know that he was a

graduate. That thereafter when scrutiny of the document was going

on, the original writ petitioner produced the graduate certification

showing that he was a graduate since 2014, the bank found that he

was not eligible as he did not fulfill the criteria mentioned in the

advertisement, and that he suppressed the material fact that he

was a graduate, his candidature came to be cancelled and he was

not allowed to join the bank in the subordinate cadre/Peon.

5.3 The learned Single Judge of the High Court by the judgment

and order allowed the writ petition preferred by the respondent and

directed the appellant Bank to allow the original writ petitioner to

discharge his duties as a Peon as per appointment order dated
15

03.10.2016 on the ground that as held by the Allahabad High Court

in the case of Pankaj Kumar Dubey (supra), in which the decision

of this Court in the case of Mohd. Riazul Usman Gani (supra) was

relied upon, the higher qualification cannot be the qualification for

the post of Peon. Decision of the learned Single Judge has been

continuing by the Division Bench by impugned non­speaking and

unreasoned order. Therefore, the short question which is posed for

consideration of this Court is whether in the facts and

circumstances of the case and despite the fact that there was

suppression of the material fact by the respondent – original writ

petitioner in not disclosing in the application/bio­data that he was

a graduate, the High Court is justified in directing the appellant

Bank to allow the respondent – original writ petitioner to discharge

his duties as a Peon as per appointment order dated 03.10.2016

which, as such, was cancelled?

6. It is required to be noted that the eligibility

criteria/educational qualification mentioned in the advertisement

inviting the applications was as per Circular letter No. 25 of 2008

dated 06.11.2008, the relevant portion of which is reproduced
16

hereinabove. As stated in the counter to the writ petition, a

conscious decision was taken by the bank providing eligibility

criteria/educational qualification that a graduate candidate shall

not be eligible for the post of Peon/subordinate staff. The said

decision was taken consciously looking to the nature of the post. At

this stage, it is required to be noted that the original writ petitioner

never challenged the eligibility criteria/educational qualification

mentioned in the advertisement. He participated in the recruitment

process on the basis of the advertisement, without challenging the

eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in the

advertisement. Therefore, once having participated in the

recruitment process as per the advertisement, thereafter it is not

open for him to contend that acquisition of higher qualification

cannot be a disqualification and that too when he never challenged

the eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in the

advertisement.

7. Even otherwise, prescribing the eligibility criteria/educational

qualification that a graduate shall not be eligible to apply was a

conscious decision taken by the Bank and the same was as per the
17

Circular letter No. 25 of 2008 dated 06.11.2008. In the case of J.

Rangaswamy (supra), it is observed and held by this Court that it

is not for the court to consider the relevance of qualifications

prescribed for various posts.

7.1 In the case of Yogesh Kumar (supra), it is observed and held

by this Court that recruitment to public service should be held

strictly in accordance with the terms of advertisement and the

recruitment rules, if any. Deviation from the rules allows entry to

ineligible persons and deprives many others who could have

competed for the post.

7.2 In a recent decision of this Court in the case of Zahoor

Ahmad Rather (supra), this Court has distinguished another

decision of this Court in the case of Jyoti K.K. v. Kerala Public

Service Commission (2010) 15 SCC 596 taking the view that in a

case where lower qualification is prescribed, if a person has

acquired higher qualifications, such qualification can certainly be

stated to presuppose the acquisition of the lower qualifications

prescribed for the post. In the said decision, this Court also took

note of another decision of this Court in the case of State of
18

Punjab v. Anita (2015) 2 SCC 170, in which case, this Court on

facts distinguished the decision in the case of Jyoti K.K. (supra).

While distinguishing the decision in the case of Jyoti K.K. (supra),

it is observed in paras 25 and 26 as under:

“25. The decision in Jyoti K.K. [Jyoti K.K. v. Kerala
Public Service Commission
, (2010) 15 SCC 596 : (2013) 3
SCC (L&S) 664] has been considered in a judgment of
two learned Judges in State of Punjab v. Anita [State of
Punjab
v. Anita, (2015) 2 SCC 170 : (2015) 1 SCC (L&S)
329] . In that case, applications were invited for JBT/ETT
qualified teachers. Under the rules, the prescribed
qualification for a JBT teacher included a Matric with a
two years’ course in JBT training and knowledge of
Punjabi and Hindi of the Matriculation standard or its
equivalent. This Court held that none of the respondents
held the prescribed qualification and an MA, MSc or
MCom could not be treated as a “higher qualification”.

Adverting to the decision in Jyoti K.K. [Jyoti
K.K. v. Kerala Public Service Commission
, (2010) 15 SCC
596 : (2013) 3 SCC (L&S) 664] , this Court noted that
Rule 10(a)(ii) in that case clearly stipulated that the
possession of a higher qualification can presuppose the
acquisition of a lower qualification prescribed for the
post. In the absence of such a stipulation, it was held
that such a hypothesis could not be deduced: (Anita
case [State of Punjab v. Anita, (2015) 2 SCC 170 : (2015)
1 SCC (L&S) 329] , SCC p. 177, para 15)
“15. It was sought to be asserted on the basis of
the aforesaid observations, that since the private
respondents possess higher qualifications, then the
qualification of JBT/ETT, they should be treated as
having fulfilled the qualification stipulated for the
posts of JBT/ETT Teachers. It is not possible for us
19

to accept the aforesaid submission of the learned
counsel for the private respondents, because the
statutory rules which were taken into consideration by
this Court while recording the aforesaid observations
inJyoti K.K. case [Jyoti K.K. v. Kerala Public Service
Commission
, (2010) 15 SCC 596 : (2013) 3 SCC (L&S)
664] , permitted the aforesaid course. The statutory
rule, in the decision relied on by the learned counsel
for the private respondents, is extracted hereunder:

(SCC p. 598, para 6)

‘6. Rule 10(a)(ii) reads as follows:

10. (a)(ii) Notwithstanding anything contained
in these Rules or in the Special Rules, the
qualifications recognised by executive orders or
Standing Orders of Government as equivalent to
a qualification specified for a post in the Special
Rules [Ed.: The matter between two asterisks has
been emphasised in original.] and such of those
higher qualifications which presuppose the
acquisition of the lower qualification prescribed for
the post shall also be sufficient for the post.’
(emphasis supplied)
A perusal of the Rule clearly reveals that the
possession of higher qualification would presuppose
the acquisition of the lower qualification prescribed for
the posts. Insofar as the present controversy is
concerned, there is no similar statutory provision
authorising the appointment of persons with higher
qualifications.”
(emphasis supplied)

26. We are in respectful agreement with the
interpretation which has been placed on the judgment
20

in Jyoti K.K. [Jyoti K.K. v. Kerala Public Service
Commission
, (2010) 15 SCC 596 : (2013) 3 SCC (L&S)
664] in the subsequent decision in Anita [State of
Punjab v. Anita
, (2015) 2 SCC 170 : (2015) 1 SCC (L&S)
329] . The decision in Jyoti K.K. [Jyoti K.K. v. Kerala
Public Service Commission
, (2010) 15 SCC 596 : (2013) 3
SCC (L&S) 664] turned on the provisions of Rule 10(a)(ii).
Absent such a rule, it would not be permissible to draw
an inference that a higher qualification necessarily
presupposes the acquisition of another, albeit lower,
qualification. The prescription of qualifications for a post
is a matter of recruitment policy. The State as the
employer is entitled to prescribe the qualifications as a
condition of eligibility. It is no part of the role or function
of judicial review to expand upon the ambit of the
prescribed qualifications. Similarly, equivalence of a
qualification is not a matter which can be determined in
exercise of the power of judicial review. Whether a
particular qualification should or should not be regarded
as equivalent is a matter for the State, as the recruiting
authority, to determine. The decision in Jyoti K.K. [Jyoti
K.K. v. Kerala Public Service Commission
, (2010) 15 SCC
596 : (2013) 3 SCC (L&S) 664] turned on a specific
statutory rule under which the holding of a higher
qualification could presuppose the acquisition of a lower
qualification. The absence of such a rule in the present
case makes a crucial difference to the ultimate outcome.
In this view of the matter, the Division Bench [Imtiyaz
Ahmad v. Zahoor Ahmad Rather, LPA (SW) No. 135 of
2017, decided on 12­10­2017 (J&K)] of the High Court
was justified in reversing the judgment [Zahoor Ahmad
Rather v. State of J&K
, 2017 SCC OnLine J&K 936] of the
learned Single Judge and in coming to the conclusion
that the appellants did not meet the prescribed
qualifications. We find no error in the decision [Imtiyaz
Ahmad v. Zahoor Ahmad Rather, LPA (SW) No
. 135 of
21

2017, decided on 12­10­2017 (J&K)] of the Division
Bench.”

That thereafter it is observed in para 27 as under:

27. While prescribing the qualifications for a post, the
State, as employer, may legitimately bear in mind several
features including the nature of the job, the aptitudes
requisite for the efficient discharge of duties, the
functionality of a qualification and the content of the
course of studies which leads up to the acquisition of a
qualification. The State is entrusted with the authority to
assess the needs of its public services. Exigencies of
administration, it is trite law, fall within the domain of
administrative decision­making. The State as a public
employer may well take into account social perspectives
that require the creation of job opportunities across the
societal structure. All these are essentially matters of
policy. Judicial review must tread warily. That is why the
decision in Jyoti K.K. [Jyoti K.K. v. Kerala Public Service
Commission
, (2010) 15 SCC 596 : (2013) 3 SCC (L&S)
664] must be understood in the context of a specific
statutory rule under which the holding of a higher
qualification which presupposes the acquisition of a
lower qualification was considered to be sufficient for the
post. It was in the context of specific rule that the
decision in Jyoti K.K. [Jyoti K.K. v. Kerala Public Service
Commission
, (2010) 15 SCC 596 : (2013) 3 SCC (L&S)
664] turned.

7.3 Thus, as held by this Court in the aforesaid decisions, it is for

the employer to determine and decide the relevancy and suitability

of the qualifications for any post and it is not for the Courts to
22

consider and assess. A greater latitude is permitted by the Courts

for the employer to prescribe qualifications for any post. There is a

rationale behind it. Qualifications are prescribed keeping in view

the need and interest of an Institution or an Industry or an

establishment as the case may be. The Courts are not fit

instruments to assess expediency or advisability or utility of such

prescription of qualifications. However, at the same time, the

employer cannot act arbitrarily or fancifully in prescribing

qualifications for posts. In the present case, prescribing the

eligibility criteria/educational qualification that a graduate

candidate shall not be eligible and the candidate must have passed

12th standard is justified and as observed hereinabove, it is a

conscious decision taken by the Bank which is in force since 2008.

Therefore, the High Court has clearly erred in directing the

appellant Bank to allow the respondent­original writ petitioner to

discharge his duties as a Peon, though he as such was not eligible

as per the eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in

the advertisement.

23

8. Even on the ground that respondent – original writ petitioner

deliberately, wilfully and intentionally suppressed the fact that he

was a graduate, the High Court has erred in directing the appellant

Bank to allow the respondent – original writ petitioner to discharge

his duties as a Peon. In the application/bio­data, the respondent­

original writ petitioner did not mention that he was a graduate.

Very cleverly he suppressed the material fact and declared his

qualification as H.S.C., whereas as a matter of fact, he was holding

a degree in the Bachelor in Arts. Had it been known to the bank

that he was a graduate, he would not have at all been considered

for selection as a Peon in the bank. That thereafter when scrutiny

of the documents was going on and when the respondent – original

writ petitioner produced a graduation certificate, at that time, the

bank came to know that he was a graduate and therefore not

eligible and therefore the bank rightly cancelled his candidature

and he was not allowed to join the bank in the subordinate cadre.

Therefore, on the aforesaid ground alone, the High Court ought not

to have allowed the writ petition when it was a clear case of
24

suppression of material fact by the original writ petitioner. An

employee is expected to give a correct information as to his

qualification. The original writ petitioner failed to do so. He was in

fact over­qualified and therefore ineligible to apply for the job. In

fact, by such conduct on the part of the respondent –original writ

petitioner, one another righteous candidate has suffered for his

mischievous act. As held by this Court in the case of Ram Ratan

Yadav (supra), suppression of material information and making a

false statement has a clear bearing on the character and

antecedents of the employee in relation to his continuance in

service. A candidate having suppressed the material information

and/or giving false information cannot claim right to continuance in

service. Thus, on the ground of suppression of material information

and the facts and as the respondent – original writ petitioner even

otherwise was not eligible as per the eligibility criteria/educational

qualification mentioned in the advertisement which was as per

Circular letter No. 25 of 2008 dated 06.11.2008, the bank rightly
25

cancelled his candidature and rightly did not permit him to resume

his duty.

9. On reading the judgment and order passed by the learned

single Judge it appears that the learned single Judge has not at all

considered the aforesaid aspect of suppression of material fact and

information. So far as the impugned order passed by the Division

Bench of the High Court, as such it is a non­speaking and

unreasoned order, without even stating any facts.

10. In view of the above and for the reasons state above, the

impugned order dated 22.11.2019 passed by the Division Bench of

the High Court and the judgment and order passed by the learned

single Judge of the High Court dated 13.03.2019 in W.P. (C) No.

19261 of 2016 directing the appellant Bank to allow the respondent

– original writ petitioner to discharge his duties as a Peon as per

appointment order dated 03.11.2016 is unsustainable and deserves

to quashed and set aside and are accordingly quashed and set

aside. The appeal is allowed. However, considering the fact that

the post in question was a subordinate staff post/Peon, and despite
26

the fact that because of the mischievous act on the part of the

original writ petitioner, one candidate could not get the job, we

refrain from imposing the cost and leave the matter there.

…………………………..J.

(ASHOK BHUSHAN)

………………………….J.

(R. SUBHASH REDDY)

…………………………..J.

(M. R. SHAH)
New Delhi,
November 3, 2020



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