Read Order: Sweety Nagar v. State of Haryana & Another

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, January 14, 2022: While dealing with a writ petition by a candidate who was denied the benefit of reservation for allegedly filling up the wrong category in her application form, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the petitioner herself applied under the General category and took part in the selection process as a General category candidate, however, when she was unsuccessful in getting sufficient marks, she wanted to change her category to BCB for getting herself selected. 

“Such a type of hopping of category in such a manner can certainly be not allowed,” said the bench of Justice H. S. Madaan. 

The petitioner appeared for an exam conducted by the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) wherein her candidature was wrongly filled up under the General category instead of the BCB category by the Computer Operator in her village. After the written exam, the petitioner was selected and was called for scrutiny of documents. She submitted her documents, including the BCB certificate but the department refused to accept that. She was rather advised to submit an application to the second respondent. The petitioner accordingly did so for reconsidering her candidature under the BCB category. 

When the final result came, she did not make it to the selection list in the General category, however, she scored more than the cut off prescribed for BCB category candidates. Therefore, she filed a Writ Petition before the High Court itself, which resulted in the issuance of directions to the respondents to decide her representation in a time-bound manner. The respondents however rejected her claim. Hence, the instant writ petition was filed before the High Court. 

The petitioner’s counsel argued that she belonged to a rural area where application forms were filled up by computer operators and one such computer operator inadvertently filled up her application form under the General category instead of BCB. Hence she was prejudiced to a large extent, claimed the counsel. 

After considering the above submissions, the Court observed that it was not believable for the Court that a candidate applying for the LDC post did not know that her application was submitted as a General category candidate and not under the BCB category. 

“The petitioner having applied as a General category candidate, taken up the written examination as such besides participating in the process for scrutiny of documents, it is not believable that she did so without realizing that she was appearing as a General category candidate and not a candidate belonging to BCB category. She could not be so naive and simpleton so as to act in such a manner. Her representation for change of category was rightly rejected”, said the Bench. 

Further, the Court reverted to the recruitment advertisement that clearly advised candidates to ensure the correctness of their credentials in their applications. Candidates applying under SC/BCA/BCB etc. categories were in fact required to upload and submit for scrutiny their supporting certificates. The Court noted that the petitioner did not upload her BCB certificate while applying online and therefore, the same could not be taken into consideration now.

While holding that it was not a case of a bona fide mistake, the bench said, “No civil right of the petitioner much less any constitutional right is shown to have been violated in this case, which might have justified issuance of proper writ in the matter for curve such alleged violation.”

The petition was thus dismissed. 

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