‘Qualifying Marks In Exam Irrelevant In Determining Merit For Selection’

SRINAGAR — The marks obtained by a candidate in the qualifying examination have no relevance in determining his or her merit for selection when it’s determined on the basis of a written test and viva voce, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has said. 

A bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey made the observations while dismissing a petition by a girl who had failed to secure the merit in the Written Examination and the viva voce conducted by the Selection Board to find a place amongst the selected candidates, or even in the waiting list. 

The court said that case of girl would have merited consideration if had shown that the selection was to be made on the basis of merit obtained by the candidates in the qualifying examination or on the basis of academic record. 

“That is not the case. The selection process was competition based and only such candidates could be selected against the five posts in the open merit category as would figure in order of merit,” the court said, adding, “The petitioner having failed to obtain such merit as would secure her a place in the select list or the waiting list, she has no case and this petition is held to be wholly without any merit.”

In terms of Rule 14(4) of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services Decentralization and Recruitment Rules, 2010, the selection committee is required to restrict the select list equal to the number of vacancies for which requisition was made and recommend it to by the requisitioning authority, the court said. 

“Sub-rule (7) of the aforesaid Rule 14 provided that the concerned selection committees of the Board shall also draw up a waiting list of 25% of the total number of selected candidates and forward the same to the requisitioning authority for consideration against drop-out vacancies.” 

This sub-rule, the court said, however, was amended in terms of SRO 439 on 11 December 2015, providing that for the words 25% of the total number of selected candidates, the words 33.33% of the total number of posts advertised, subject to a minimum of one, shall be substituted. 

“In the instant case, 5 posts in the OM category had been advertised. 33.33% of 5 posts would come to 1.6; that means that the Selection Board was required to draw up the waiting list of two candidates.”

 The responses filed by government, the court said, would indicate that there existed only one candidate in the waiting list who, too, was appointed. “Thus, the Board had committed a serious error in drawing up the wait list of the candidates.” However, the petitioner had not challenged the select list or the wait list, nor is it her case that had the wait list been prepared in accordance with the amended sub-rule (7) of Rule 14 of the aforesaid Rules, she would have figured therein and would have been appointed.

“It, in fact, has come in the response of the respondent Board that there are four candidates between the last selected candidate and the petitioner in order of merit, meaning thereby that even if the wait list had been prepared of two candidates, she would still not come therein,” the court said, adding, “That being so, the petition deserves outright dismissal on this count also”.

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