Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday quashed the selection list of candidates for the posts of Drug Inspectors advertised by the Services Selection Board (SSB) in 2008.
The court granted the respondent, the SSB, liberty to constitute a Selection Committee to conduct a fresh interview of all the candidates who have appeared before it in accordance with law for selection against the posts advertised.
“However, it is made clear that no post or vacancy which had not been advertised by the aforesaid advertisement will be filled up by the said selection process,” the court said.
“The said exercise if undertaken shall be completed within a period of six months as directed and till such time, the selected candidates appointed may be permitted to continue to avoid any administrative problem,” the court directed.
Earlier, the J&K Services Selection Board invited applications for the post of 72 Drug Inspectors which were advertised on 5 May, 2008. Accordingly, on 8 September, 2009, the Board issued a selection list of 64 candidates, which came to be challenged for various illegalities.
The court after perusing the records said that the writ court has opined that the select list was not properly drawn as there was nothing on record to indicate that the members of the selection committee had made the assessment of the candidates individually.
“However, the final award roll reflecting the performance of the candidates in viva voce and points secured on the basis of the merit in eligibility qualification as well as extra weightage granted for additional qualification is also not in accordance with the norms. Therefore, the selection process does not conform to the prescribed procedure,” the court said.
The court noted that some of the candidates have been arbitrarily awarded extra weightage without there being on record any material to show that they possessed post graduate degree for grant of such extra marks, which infringes the right of other candidates.
Allowing the appeals, the court modified the order of writ court and recorded that the writ court was not justified in directing the official respondents to retain the services of private candidates as they have been in service for last seven years.
The court also directed to consider selection of the petitioners on available vacancies for Drug Inspectors.
The court remarked that the candidates appearing in the selection process can always bring to the notice of the court the illegalities committed during the selection, though they may not have any locus to challenge the constitution of the Selection Committee or the eligibility of the members of the selection committee.