The Karnataka State Seeds … vs H. L. Kaveri on 21 January, 2020


Supreme Court of India

The Karnataka State Seeds … vs H. L. Kaveri on 21 January, 2020

Author: Ajay Rastogi

Bench: Hon’Ble Dr. Chandrachud, Ajay Rastogi

                                                                 NON­REPORTABLE
                                   IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                   CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                                 CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 344 OF 2020
                               (Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 9394 of 2019)


          THE KARNATAKA STATE SEEDS DEVELOPMENT
          CORPORATION LIMITED & ANR          ….APPELLANT(S)




                                   VERSUS




          SMT. H.L. KAVERI & ORS.                                 ….RESPONDENT(S)




                                             JUDGMENT

Rastogi, J.

1. The instant appeal is directed against the judgment passed by

the Division Bench of the High Court of Karnataka dated 1 st
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by

February, 2019 directing the appellant­Corporation to consider the
CHETAN KUMAR
Date: 2020.01.21
16:37:39 IST
Reason:

claim of 1st respondent taking note of the work experience certificate

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for appointment in accordance with law with a caveat that the order

has been passed in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case

and shall not be treated as a precedent.

2. The brief facts of the case in nutshell relevant for the purpose

are that the appellant­Corporation invited applications for various

posts against the backlog vacancies including two vacancies of

Senior Assistant and ten vacancies of Junior Assistant pursuant to

an advertisement dated 11th November, 2013. Apart from the

academic and professional qualifications, the applicant was

required to furnish a certificate of work experience of 3 years/2

years in a reputed company for the post of Senior Assistant/Junior

Assistant. It was further indicated in the advertisement that

separate application has to be furnished for each post and

incomplete application shall be rejected without assigning any

reasons. The 1st respondent applied for both the posts, i.e. Senior

Assistant and Junior Assistant on a separate application, and

indeed was holding academic/professional qualification but it

reveals from the record that she had not enclosed the experience

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certificate of the requisite period along with the application form

which was required at the time of submitting the application.

3. The select list of the candidates was to be prepared in terms of

Rule 6 of the Karnataka State Civil Services(Unfilled Vacancies

reserved for the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and

Scheduled Tribes) (Special Recruitment) Rules, 2001(hereinafter

being referred to as “Rules”) based on the percentage of marks

secured by the candidate in the qualification examination taking

into consideration the reservation for women, ex­servicemen,

physically handicapped and project displaced persons in

accordance with the Karnataka Civil Services (General Recruitment)

Rules, 1977.

4. The 1st Respondent is a women and member of Scheduled

caste category and secured 65.43% of marks in the qualifying

examination and still when her name was not included in the select

list, made representation but when failed to get satisfactory

response, she approached the High Court by filing of a writ petition

under Article 226 of the Constitution. In reply to the writ petition

filed by the Corporation, the specific case pleaded was that the 1 st

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respondent had applied for both the posts of Senior

Assistant/Junior Assistant, but she failed to enclose the experience

certificate which was the condition of eligibility in terms of the

advertisement and at the stage of scrutiny, her application was

rejected without assigning any reason. For satisfaction of the Court,

the learned Single Judge of the High Court called for the original

records and recorded a finding in paragraph 7 of the judgment that

experience certificate was not enclosed by her with the application

form which is reproduced hereunder:­

“On perused of the original records, it is clear
that petitioner has not enclosed experience certificate
while applying to the posts. This is evident from the
application submitted, which contains other
enclosures except the experience certificate. The
scrutiny of application that has been made and
maintained by respondent­Corporation reveals that
several applications have been rejected noting the
reasons for such rejection. The reason for rejecting
the application filed by petitioner is stated as ‘non­
enclosure of experience certificate’. Incidentally, it has
to be noticed that other candidates who had not
enclosed the experience certificate also suffered
similar consequences”.

5. The Single Judge of the High Court, taking note of the factual

statement, was not inclined to consider the claim of the 1 st

respondent and accordingly dismissed the writ petition vide

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judgment dated 11th July, 2016 that came to be challenged by the

1st respondent in Letters Patent Appeal before the Division Bench of

the High Court. The Division Bench of the High Court took note of

the statement of facts recorded by the learned Single Judge, but

taking note of the fact that the 1 st respondent has secured higher

marks in the qualifying examination for the post of Senior/Junior

Assistant and mere non­enclosure of the experience certificate with

the application, should not deny her claim of fair consideration for

appointment and noticing the alleged peculiar facts allowed the LPA

with a direction to the appellant­Corporation to consider the claim

of the 1st respondent taking note of the experience certificate for

consideration and appointment with a caveat that the order passed

by the Division Bench would not be treated as a precedent which is

a subject matter of challenge in appeal before us.

6. Learned counsel for the appellants submits that experience

certificate of a reputed Company of 3 years and 2 years for the post

of Senior Assistant and Junior Assistant is a condition of eligibility

under the terms of advertisement dated 11 th November, 2013 and

this fact remain indisputed from the original records as perused by

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the Single Judge of the High Court holding that the 1 st respondent

has failed to enclose experience certificate of 3 years/2 years in a

reputed Company and 31 applications of women candidates for the

post of Senior Assistant and 106 applications for Junior Assistant

of such nature which were incomplete, were rejected by the

Corporation and seven women candidates listed as valid

applications for Senior Assistant against one women category

remain awaited and the 1st respondent would not be entitled for any

preference over the successful candidates who were considered

eligible and placed in the select list in the order of merit for

appointment to the post of Senior/Junior Assistant prepared in

terms of advertisement dated 11th November, 2013.

7. Learned counsel further submits that the judgment on which

the Division Bench has placed reliance in the case of Seema

Kumari Sharma Vs. State of Himachal Pradesh and Others

1998(9) SCC 128 is of no assistance on the facts of the present case

and in the given circumstances, the Division Bench has committed

a manifest error in directing the Corporation to take on record the

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experience certificate of the 1 st respondent and consider her for

appointment and that needs to be interfered by this Court.

8. Per contra, learned counsel for the 1 st respondent, while

supporting judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court,

further submits that the select list was to be prepared of the

candidates based on the percentage of marks secured in the

qualifying examination and there is no other

consideration/evaluation in the process of selection for

appointment to the post of Senior/Junior Assistant under the

advertisement dated 11th November, 2013 and further submits that

to the best of her knowledge, the 1 st respondent had enclosed her

experience certificate along with the application form, but even if

there was a deficiency in the application form filled by the 1 st

respondent, it was at the best be construed to be a bonafide

mistake and as she was holding the experience certificate of 3 years

even on the date when the advertisement came to be published

dated 11th November, 2013, she at least should not be deprived

from fair consideration for such technical reasons against a woman

who is member of Scheduled Caste category and for whom the post

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was reserved, in the given circumstances, denial from consideration

for appointment after her suitability being adjudged has certainly

caused a great prejudice to her and this what the Division Bench

has observed and that needs no interference by this Court.

9. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the

material available on record with their assistance.

10. The appellant­Corporation notified the backlog vacancies in a

daily newspaper vide its advertisement dated 11 th November, 2013

inviting applications from the eligible candidates to fill up the

vacancies of Senior Assistant/Junior Assistant including other

posts. The academic qualification and work experience which was

required for the purpose of Senior Assistant/Junior Assistant is

indicated hereunder: ­

“Senior Assistant :



           Qualification:    1)    Degree of recognized University
                             2)    Preference to B. Com graduate with
                                   Accountancy as a subject.
                             3)    Computer knowledge with MS Office
                                   and Tally or any other accounting
                                   package.

           Experience :            Must have worked in a similar
                                   capacity for three years in a reputed
                                   company.

                                                                           8
          Junior Assistant :

          Qualification :      1)       Degree of recognized University.
                               2)       Preference to B. Com graduate with
                                        Accountancy as a subject.
                             3)         Computer knowledge with MS Office
                                        and Tally or any other accounting
                                        package.

          Experience :                  Must have worked in a similar
                                        capacity for TWO years in a reputed
                                        Company.”




11. Under its advertisement dated 11 th November 2013, it was

specifically indicated that separate application should be submitted

for each post accompanied with various requirements including

qualification, experience, etc. and incomplete application, if any, is

liable for rejection without assigning any reason. The 1 st

respondent applied for the post of Senior Assistant/Junior

Assistant vide application dated 29th November, 2013. After

scrutiny of the applications, the select list of backlog vacancies was

published on 16th January, 2015 and it reveals from the record that

impleaded 3rd respondent in the writ petition (Smt. Priyanka A.

Chanchalkar) was provisionally selected as Senior Assistant

securing 64.65% marks. At the same time, the 1 st respondent

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secured 65.43% marks but since the 1st respondent failed to submit

experience certificate along with the application form, her

application at the stage of scrutiny itself was rejected.

12. The Corporation in IA No. 3457 of 2020 has indicated that

total 31 applications for the post of Senior Assistant were rejected

in view of not enclosing of self­attested documents and there are 7

women candidates listed as valid applicant for Senior Assistant

against the single post of female (Scheduled Caste) which remain

unfilled because of the orders of the Court. At the same time, the

Corporation rejected 106 number of applications for the post of

Junior Assistant for not enclosing the documents required

including self­attested copies of experience certificate/caste

certificate/computer tally­certificate/graduation certififcate/birth

certificate, etc.

13. It remains indisputed as recorded by the learned Single Judge

of the High Court in the order after perusal of the original records of

which reference has been made that the 1 st respondent had not

enclosed her experience certificate along with the application and

her statement on oath was found to be factually incorrect and the

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rejection of her application was indeed in terms of the

advertisement dated 11th November, 2013 for which the Corporation

was not required to assign any reasons which although was

disclosed before the Court and noticed by the learned Single Judge

in its judgment.

14. In the given circumstances, we do not find any error being

committed by the Corporation in its decision making process while

rejecting the application of the 1st respondent for non­fulfilment of

the necessary experience certificate which was to be enclosed along

with the application as required in terms of the advertisement dated

11th November, 2013.

15. That apart, the post of Senior Assistant which remained

vacant, as informed to this Court, even if it is considered that there

is a reasonable justification for which the certificate could not have

been enclosed by the 1st respondent along with the application,

there are several other candidates who have obtained higher

percentage in qualifying examination compared to the 1 st

respondent whose applications have been rejected in view of not

enclosing of self­attested documents and there are 7 women

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candidates listed as valid applicants for the post of Senior Assistant

against the single post of women(SC) category, at least no

indefensible right in the present circumstances, could have been

claimed by the 1st respondent for her inclusion in the select list for

appointment to the post of Senior Assistant. At the same time, for

the post of Junior Assistant, 106 applications of the applicants were

rejected by the Corporation for non­enclosing self­attested copies

including that of the experience certificate and this fact has come

on record that out of 10 vacancies advertised, only one post for

physically handicapped remain vacant as the suitable candidate

was not available, which indeed could not be converted to

open/other reserved categories.

16. The Division Bench of the High Court has relied upon the

judgment in Seema Kumar Sharma case(supra) in extending relief

to the 1st respondent which, in our view, is of no assistance and, in

our view, the Division Bench has committed a manifest error by

taking note of the experience certificate to support her claim for

appointment without even indicating the post for which her claim

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could be considered in terms of the advertisement dated 11 th

November, 2013.

17. We would further like to observe that merely because the 1 st

respondent had approached the High Court by filing of a writ

petition, that would not be sufficient to exercise jurisdiction under

Article 226 of the Constitution in over­reaching the rights of the

candidates who were otherwise eligible for appointment.

18. The appeal is according allowed and the judgment of the High

Court dated 1st February, 2019 is hereby set aside. No costs.

19. Pending application(s), if any, stand disposed of.

…………….…………………………………….J.

[DR DHANANJAYA Y CHANDRACHUD]

…………….…………………………………….J.

[AJAY RASTOGI]

New Delhi
January 21, 2020

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