Read Judgment: Indresh Kumar Mishra and Ors v. The State of Jharkhand & Ors
New Delhi, April 14, 2022: While emphasizing on the settled aspect of law that Court cannot act as an expert in the field of education, the Supreme Court has held that the selection of the petitioners were rightly canceled on the ground that they were not having the requisite qualification for the post – Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in History as per the advertisement in question.
The Division Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice B.V.Nagarathna also opined that having studied and obtaining the degree in only one branch of History cannot be said to be having a degree in History subject as a whole, which was the requirement.
The present appeals were of two categories. One Category of writ petitioners included those candidates who applied for the post of Post Graduate Trained Teacher in the subject History and and the other was with respect to the original writ petitioners, who applied for the post of Graduate Trained Teacher in the subject of History/Civics.
Herein, the Department of Personnel, Administrative Reforms and Rajbhasha, Government of Jharkhand forwarded requisition of the Department of School Education and Literacy (Secondary Education Directorate) Government of Jharkhand to the Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission (J.S.S.C.) in terms of the Appointment Rules, 2012 for starting the selection process for appointment to the post of Postgraduate Trained Teachers in the High School of the State of Jharkhand for different subjects under different categories.The J.S.S.C. after receiving the request, started the selection process for appointment to the post of Postgraduate Trained Teachers (P.G.T.T.) in the State of Jharkhand in different subjects, i.e., Chemistry, Physics, History etc.
Accordingly, an advertisement was issued by which applications were invited from the eligible candidates for considering their candidature for appointment to the post of Postgraduate Trained Teachers. When successful candidates were called for verification, it was found that they were having the Graduate Degree in Ancient History; Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology and Medieval History etc. respectively from different universities and they failed to submit their Graduation degree in History in terms of the advertisement. Therefore, it was found that the petitioners had Graduation degree in one of the branches of the subject History in place of History as a whole and therefore, they were not eligible for the post of Graduate Trained Teachers in the subjects of History and Civics as they couldnot be said to be having the requisite qualification in terms of the advertisement.
After their candidatures were cancelled, the respective petitioners filed the writ petitions before the High Court. The High Court dismissed the writ petitions and when the original writ petitioners preferred Letters Patent Appeals before the High Court they were again dismissed. Hence the original writ petitioners preferred the present Civil Appeals.
According to the Top Court, the respective writ petitioners had obtained the Postgraduate degrees/ Bachelor degrees, as the case may be, in one of the branches of History, namely, Indian Ancient History, Indian Ancient History and Culture, Medieval / Modern History, Indian Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology.This in the Court’s view was obtaining the degree in one of the branches of History which could not be said to be obtaining the degree in History as a whole.
As a History teacher, he/she has to teach in all the subjects of History, namely, Ancient History, Indian Ancient History and Culture, Medieval / Modern History, Indian Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology etc. Therefore, having studied and obtaining the degree in only one branch of History cannot be said to be having a degree in History subject as a whole, which was the requirement, added the Bench.
The Court also substantiated these observations by mentioning that the Expert Committee had opined that the degrees obtained by the respective candidates/petitioners in one branch of History cannot be said to be obtaining the degree in History as a whole and therefore they cannot be said to be having the requisite qualification as per the advertisement.
The Division Bench said,”As per the settled proposition of law, in the field of education, the Court of Law cannot act as an expert normally, therefore, whether or not a student/candidate is possessing the requisite qualification should better be left to the educational institutions, more particularly, when the Expert Committee considers the matter.”
It was noted that there couldn’t be any deviation from the educational qualifications mentioned in the advertisement. Once having found that the respective writ petitioners – appellants herein were not having the requisite qualification as per the advertisement, namely, the Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in History, which was the requirement as per the advertisement and thereafter their candidature was canceled, both the Single Judge as well as the Division Bench of the High Court had rightly refused to interfere with the same. The Apex Court was in complete agreement with the view taken by the Single Judge and the Division Bench of the High Court.
Thus, dismissing the Appeals, the Top Court ruled that the candidature of the respective petitioners were rightly cancelled.