High Court upholds J&K Bank’s fresh notification for selection of 1500 BAs

Jammu and Kashmir High Court has upheld the fresh notification by the J&K Bank for selection of 1500 Banking Associates (BAs).

A division bench of Chief Justice PankajMithal and justiceVinodChatterjiKoul dismissed as “without merit” an appeal against its single Bench judgement which had upheld fresh notification by the J&K Bank for selection of 1500 banking associates.

The bank had cancelled the selection process for 350 probationary officers and 1500 banking associates and issued fresh notification for selection of the same.

While dismissing the aggrieved candidates’ petition challenging the fresh notification, the single judge had held that the petitioners were not having any indefeasible right to seek continuation of the selection process which stood cancelled.

Before the single bench, the petitioners who had participated in the earlier selection process in terms of J&K Banks notification dated 06.10.2018 had sought court intervention for upholding of the process. They were also aggrieved of the notice dated 15 April, 2020, cancelling the earlier selection process as also of the notice dated 01.06.2020 whereby the posts of probationary officers and banking associates were advertised afresh.

The selection process for the post of POs had been cancelled after conducting prelims and mains examination and the qualified candidates were required to be interviewed only before final selection. In case of BAs the requisite examination had been conducted and the selection list was required to be issued only.

The single bench had observed that “the Bank had gone wrong when it construed the district-wise requirement as district-wise recruitment. “It further went on to frame a merit list district-wise, meaning thereby that the conception of one unit policy which is followed in the respondent Bank has been flouted with impunity in the said recruitment process”, the court had said.

This irregularity, the court had said, might have had the scope of correction but the Bank had gone further wrong in not offering reservation in the whole process which certainly was incurable.

While the court observed that the district-wise merit list could have been redrawn by issuing a corrigendum, it said insofar as the reservation aspect is concerned, it could not have been set right midway as the allocation of the seats was done.

Pointing out that the Bank had the authority to cancel the whole selection process rather than for going to rectify the wrong by keeping the process intact, the court had directed it to proceed ahead with the fresh selection process initiated in terms of the advertisement notice issued in this regard.

Advocate General D C Raina AG with Deputy Advocate General Sajad Ashraf represented Finance Department in J&K government while senior advocate Sunil Sethi appeared for J&K Bank.

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