SC: Court cannot assume and include qualifications excluded by employer

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 8thAugust 2019, in the matter of Zonal Manager, Bank of India, Zonal Office, Kochi & Ors. v. Aarya K. Babu & Anr. observed that Court cannot read into or assume and thereby include certain qualifications which have not been included in the Notification by the employer.  

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

It is not for the Court to read into or assume and thereby include certain qualifications which have not been included in the Notification by the employer. (Para 13)

If the qualification prescribed in the advertisement is contrary to the qualification provided under the recruitment rules, it is open for the candidate concerned to challenge the Notification on the grounds of denial of opportunity. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 13)

If a specific qualification is prescribed in the Notification it would not be open for a candidate to assume that the qualification possessed by such candidate is equivalent and thereby seek consideration for appointment nor will it even be open for the employer to change the requirements midstream during the ongoing selection process or accept any qualification other than the one notified since it would amount to denial of opportunity to those who possess the qualification but had not applied as it was not notified. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 13)

While examining the correctness of the action of the employer what would be sacrosanct will be the qualification criteria published in the Notification, since if any change made to the qualification criteria midstream is accepted by the Court so as to benefit only the petitioners before it, without making it open to all the qualified persons, it would amount to causing injustice to the others who possess such qualification but had not applied being honest to themselves as knowingly they did not possess the qualification sought for in the Notification though they otherwise held another degree. (Para 14)

If there is any change in qualification / criteria after the notification is issued but before the completion of the selection process and the employer / recruiting agency seeks to adopt the change it will be incumbent on the employer to issue a corrigendum incorporating the changes to the notification and invite applications from those qualified as per the changed criteria and consider the same along with the applications received in response to the initial notification. (Para 14)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_08-Aug-2019

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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