Precious Kashmir News
Srinagar, Oct 13: Observing that State as employer is entitled to prescribe qualifications as a condition of eligibility, J&K High Court on Tuesday set aside its single bench judgment which had held candidates possessing B. Pharmacy eligible for posts of Junior Pharmacist as against 10+2 and Diploma in Pharmacy as basic requirement.
On 19 September 2017, the court’s single bench had held that the candidates possessing higher Degree of B. Pharmacy could not be treated as “ineligible” for the post of Junior Pharmacist advertised by the Services Selection Board in 2013. The Single Bench had quashed the select list prepared by the SSB and directed reframing of the same and recommending them for appointment against the advertised posts.
“Participation of the writ petitioners (candidates possessing B Pharmacy) in the written test and interview or the fact that their names had figured in merit list would not alter the situation and make them eligible for the post, especially so when the Government had clearly conveyed to the Board that candidates possessing B. Pharmacy were not eligible for the post,” a bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Rajnesh Oswal.
Referring to the judgment of the Supreme Court, the division bench said that law was settled that prescription of qualification for a post is a matter of recruitment policy.
“The State as employer is entitled to prescribe qualifications as a condition of eligibility after taking into consideration nature of job, aptitudes required for efficient discharge of duties, functionality of qualifications, course content leading up to acquisition of qualification etc,” the court said.
Further, the court said, the judicial review cannot expand upon the ambit of prescribed qualifications to decide equivalence thereof.
“In absence of specific statutory rule under which holding of higher qualification could presuppose acquisition of lower qualification, such inference cannot be drawn,” the court said as per Global News Service, adding, “It is also settled that the Note of the advertisement notice postulating that mere possession of prescribed qualification would not entitle a candidate to be called for written test or interview and the Board may shortlist among eligible candidates by granting weightage to higher qualification as may be decided by it, merely indicates that Board is vested with discretion in pursuance of enabling power which it may or may not exercise, and that a candidate has no vested right to assert that Board must as a mandate assign additional weightage to higher qualification.”
Allowing the appeals filed by the JKSSB and aggrieved candidates, the court said that its single bench while holding that the candidates with higher degree could not be excluded from the select list, has been clearly in error. “It is held that a candidate holding the Degree of Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharmacy) is not eligible for appointment to the post of Junior Pharmacist in the Health Department of erstwhile State of J&K (now UT of Jammu and Kashmir), for which Diploma Pharmacy is the qualification prescribed by the Rules,” the court said. (GNS)