SRINAGAR The J&K High Court has rejected a petition challenging amendment raising the percentage of total weightage points earmarked for assessment under the reserved category candidates for the post of Lecturers 10+2 in different disciplines of the School Education Department, including two posts under RBA category in the discipline of Biotechnology.
The petition had called into question a notification issued by the JKPSC on 12 May 2016, notifying the amendments to Rule 51 of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (Business & Procedure) Rules 1980. By the amendment, the candidates belonging to the reserved categories were required to obtain a minimum of 45% out of the total weightage points earmarked for assessment in the Rule. Prior to the amendment, such candidates were required to obtain 40% out of the total weightage points.
At the outset, it is important to note that undoubtedly the amendment was made by notification dated 12.05.2016 a date which obviously falls after the date of notification of the vacancies and closing date of submission of the online applications viz. 19.03.2016 and 25.04.2016 but such amendment was made effective from 01.01.2016, i.e., a date much prior to the date of notification of the vacancies, said a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad.
Obviously, therefore, it cannot be said that the rules of the game were changed by the Commission when the game was being played or that the game had been played, the court added.
The written test of the candidates was conducted on 26 June 2016 and the result was declared on 29 September 2017. In all 47 candidates qualified the written test and were called for interview. Seven candidates were selected under Open Merit and 2 candidates in RBA Category.
The general rule is that the vacancies, which exist on the date of amendment of Rules have to be filled up in accordance with the Rules, as they stood prior to amendment; provided the amendment is not
Retrospective, the court said referring to a judgment by the J&K High Court in Akash Kumar v State.
Furthermore, the court said, it is within the powers of the Commission to lay down its procedure to be followed in the conduct of the examinations in fulfillment of its constitutional duty in a manner as has a uniform application to a class or category of participants. The amended Rule having been uniformly applied to all the participants, the petitioner cannot claim infringement of any of his rights, whatsoever, the court said.
The other glaring aspect of the matter is that having been in know of the amendment made in Rule 51 well before the conduct of the written examination, the petitioner has chosen not to challenge the same and, in fact, has participated in the selection process governed by such amended Rules, inasmuch as he appeared in the written test and the interview without raising a demur. He woke up to challenge the amendment in question only when the Commission had concluded the selection process, the court said and dismissed the petition filed by one Basharat Bashir Teeli.
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