–Report by Tannu Dahiya
The decision of the Delhi High court on Wednesday i.e 15th Feb 2023 came as a big relief to the petitioner in the Yogendra Kumar vs Union of India case.
The facts of the case are that the petitioner after seeing the advertisement in Feb 2018, being eligible, applied for the post of Constable/ Driver cum Pump Operator (DCPO) in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), in the OBC category. For recruitment, he had to go through various tests like Height bar tests, etc and the final was medical. After examining his eligibility, he was issued admit card and was called for HBT, he cleared the test and was issued admit card for the written test. After clearing all the tests he was selected for the last stage of medical. He got his name on the list which was out and then after clearing medical, he was verbally informed that he has to report to CISF, Bhilai, Chattisgarh. He accordingly visited Bhilai and was informed that the final list is not out yet. Now, he was shocked to see that his name was not on the list which included all the candidates’ names who were medically fit. Following this, he filed a petition naming Vikram Singh and Ors. Vs Union of India. The court directed the respondent to make a new list as it was wrong on their part that the names of a few candidates have been removed without any reasonable cause. Despite the above judgement, the respondent did not comply with the same.
Again the petitioner filed a petition for wilful disobedience of the Judgment dated 24.10.2019. The Union of India had also filed an SPL which was dismissed.
So the judgement dated 24.10.2019 attained its finality. Now the respondents again made a new list of 72 candidates which had the name of the petitioner. However, no offer letter was issued instead he was asked to submit Heavy Motor Vehicle Driving License to be eligible for selection. The petitioner accordingly mailed his Driving Licence on 12.10.2020. After this, a letter informing them that his application has been cancelled was received by him. It was argued that the licence submitted validated him for ‘Trans’ vehicles which were issued for the period 23.05.2019 to 22.11.2019. And the closing date for the application was 19.03.2018, the licence mailed by the petitioner was invalid and could not be considered for his application and, therefore, the selection of the petitioner stood cancelled.
The petitioner claimed that the ‘Trans’ licence is equivalent to Heavy Motor Vehicle or Transport Vehicle”. This licence was valid up to 2016 and was renewed in 2019. The petitioner had a valid Licence to drive. He also asserted that due to some technical errors he couldn’t attach copies of his previous driving licence. He stated various other cases like East Coast Railway vs. Mahadev Appa Rao & Ors. (2010) 7 SCC 678; Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board & Anr. Vs. Neeraj Kumar & Anr. 2012 SCC OnLine Del 1160; to argue in the context of fundamental rights. It also claimed that the impugned Order dated 15.10.2020 by the respondent is unlawful and wrong.
The respondent in its oral and written submissions admitted that the petitioner who appeared for the post of constable was once eligible for the same but due to a mistake in one Question paper and a change in the answer key, his name was cut out. After the orders of the court, they reconsidered the matter and decided to again select the candidate regarding his driving licence but his driving licence is for heavy vehicles and was not valid as it was invalid on the last date of submission. Despite the opportunity given to the petitioner, he failed to produce a valid licence and thus his candidature stands cancelled. It is submitted that the candidate must have possessed a driving licence for all the three categories as mentioned in the advertisement on or before the closing date to apply was 19.03.2018. It was further argued that the petitioner submitted false information which did not fulfil the eligibility criteria as laid down by the notification.
The court after hearing both sides said that the main issue is whether the petitioner’s licence is valid for “Heavy Motor Vehicle or Transport Vehicle” on the last date of submission which is 19.03.2018. For which the court also examined the eligibility criteria which was given in the advertisement. It also stated that there is no controversy on the fact that the licence was for Light Motor Vehicle/Motorcycle with Gear. The licence was renewed in 2019 vide endorsement made in 2016 which means that the licence was valid for submission. To answer the question of whether the licence could be considered for heavy motor vehicles, the court took reference to the Motor Vehicle Act, of 1988. After which it stated that Heavy Transport Vehicle, Medium Transport Vehicles and Light Transport Vehicles all come within the umbrella of Transport Vehicles. In the advertisement, it was stated the candidate must be having a Transport Vehicle licence or Heavy motor vehicle licence. The use of the conjunction “or”makes the candidate’s licence valid for consideration.
Therefore, the respondents were directed to look at the matter again and start the process of selection within 8 weeks from the date of the decision.
READ FULL JUDGEMNT: https://bit.ly/3lJrgpV
Citation: W.P(C) 8983/2020 & CM APPL. 28998/2020