SRINAGAR — The High Court has upheld its single bench verdict, asking Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board to consider additional points for higher qualification of candidates who had omitted to fill up the same in their application forms against the posts of teachers advertised through as many as 40 notifications in 2017.
A division Bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Vinod Chatterji Koul directed the Board to redraw the list “expeditiously”, and, in any case, not later than eight weeks.
The Board had invited applications from amongst the eligible candidates for selection against the posts of Teacher vide notification Nos. 06/2017/01 to 06/2017/14 dated 28th of December, 2017 (General Line); 06/2017/15 to 06/2017/28 dated 28th of December, 2017 (Science / Maths); and 06/2017/29 to 06/2017/42 dated 28th of December, 2017 for different districts of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Single Judge had directed the Board to call the all the candidates, who had filed petition before the court, for counselling, verify their documents and assess their grade based on documents so produced by them.
“From the perusal of the pleadings on record and upon hearing the learned counsel for the parties, we find that the origin of the controversy lies in the format of the application form so prescribed by the Board for the selection process in question,” the division bench said, adding, “This is so because the column relating to qualification, as appeared in the online application form, had shown B.Ed / M.Ed and the candidates, by mentioning the higher qualification of M.Ed, obviously and clearly meant that they had already obtained B.Ed qualification without which they could not have acquired the higher M.Ed qualification.”
In simple terms, the court observed that the purpose of writing the qualification as B.Ed / M.Ed was to take care of a situation where a candidate having obtained only B.Ed qualification, could not subsequently claim that he / she has obtained the degree of M.Ed as well.
“However, on the other hand, where the candidate makes mention of higher qualification of M.Ed, it is implicit in such qualification itself that the candidate has already obtained the lower qualification of B.Ed without which it is not possible for the candidate to acquire the reflected higher qualification,” it said.
In such circumstances, the court said that it does not feel that the candidates by mentioning the qualification as M.Ed have violated any of the terms or conditions in the application format.
“It is the case of the Board that only such candidates who have entered the requisite qualification in their application forms will get preference, but this claim does not match with the qualification column of B.Ed / M.Ed so prescribed by the Board in the application format, thereby misleading the candidates / writ petitioners in filing up their application forms,” it added.
Accordingly, the court has directed the Board to assign appropriate points to all the relevant qualifications omitted by the petitioners in their online application forms, including the qualification of B.Ed. “Of course, in case the same have been acquired by (them) prior to the last cut-off date of the advertisement notice concerned; evaluate their merit on the basis of such award of points; and redraw the final selection list(s) for the posts in question, accordingly,” it further said.
This exercise, the court said, shall be undertaken and concluded by the Board expeditiously, and, in any case, not later than eight weeks from the date of this order.