Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Thursday held that merely participating in a selection process does not give a candidate an indefeasible right to seek conclusion of the process.
The court while dismissing the plea of Huzaif Ullah Mir, who challenged the re-advertisement notice for the post of Assistant Librarian issued by National Institute of Technology (NIT) in 2020, noted that it is settled law that an advertisement notice does not confer any right on a candidate who responds to the notice to be considered for the advertised post.
It was also recorded by the court that a candidate has no right to ask for finalisation of the selection process or a right to oppose withdrawal of the post advertised or to resist the abandonment of the selection process.
As per the petitioner, he had applied for the post of Assistant Librarian pursuant to the advertisement notice of 2018 and had participated in the selection process. As per him, he had qualified the written test and had also appeared in the interview and was sure to get selected.
The petitioner challenged the action of re-advertising the post of Assistant Librarian by the respondents as according to him such action of the respondents was arbitrary and unreasonable.
A single bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar while perusing the matter said that once a selection process is taken forward and the interview of the candidates is also conducted, the action of the concerned institution in abandoning the selection process and re-advertising the post must be tested on the touchstone of reasonableness and the same should not be actuated by any malafides.
The court while coming to the facts of the instant case noted that the justification given by respondents in abandoning the selection process and issuance of fresh advertisement notice is that the Selection Committee that undertook the process of selection pursuant to the advertisement notice of the year 2018 was not properly constituted, inasmuch as Registrar of the respondent Institute was not a constituent of the said Committee.
As per NIT Statute, the court noted that the Registrar is a necessary component of the Selection Committee for Senior Administrative and other comparable posts which includes the post of Assistant Librarian.
“Therefore, carrying forward the selection process which was conducted by an incompetent selection body would have landed the respondent Institute into multiple litigations and the whole process of selection would have been rendered illegal and liable to be set aside,” Justice Dhar recorded.
Justice Dhar said, “Thus, action of respondents whereby they abandoned the selection process and readvertised the post is reasonable and justified.”
The court observed that the petitioner merely by appearing in the interview did not get any enforceable legal right to selection and consequent appointment.
“The contention of petitioner is, therefore, without any substance and deserves to be rejected,” the judge said.