The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission to conduct interview of the aggrieved Ph.D candidates after they produce certificates attesting their degrees in conformity with University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of Ph.D Degrees Regulations) 2009.
A bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey while hearing a petition by some aggrieved candidates also directed the Universities to accord consideration for issuing the certificates to the eligible candidates with a week.
The petitioners through advocate M Y Bhat contended that they responded to advertisement notice (no.09 PSC (DRP) of 2013 dated 23-5-2013), issued by J&K Public Service Commission against post of Assistant Professor in various disciplines.
Advocate Bhat invited the court's attention to the degrees of doctor of philosophy granted to the petitioners by universities which he pleaded "satisfy requirement of the regulations of 2009."
Pointing out that the petitioners are entitled to benefit of exemption from written test as they were awarded with Ph.D Degrees in accordance with University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of Ph.D degrees Regulations), 2009, Advocate Bhat pleaded that "PSC was required to allow them to participate in selection process by conducting their interview."
" There is no mechanism provided in SRO 124 of 2014 as such the Commission cannot determine the eligibility with regard to grant of benefit of exemption as the authority is only vested with the university concerned," he pleaded.
Bhat made the submission that there was no difficulty for the petitioners to get the certificates of having completed their courses in accordance with the Regulations of 2009, from the concerned universities, saying it is time consuming.
"By the time petitioners approach respondent universities and obtain certificates, the process of interview will be complete," he pleaded.
Advocate AneesUl Islam representing a university from where some candidates have obtained the degrees pleaded that the regulations of 2009 have already been scrutinized and upheld by the Supreme Court.
In response to the contentions of petitioners, Advocate Azhar-ul-Amin appearing for J&K PSC, submitted that there was no difficulty for the Commission to conduct interview of a candidate and accord him benefit of exemption, if he satisfies requirement provided under Regulations of 2009.
Issuing notice to the respondents, the court said, "In order to do justice, it would be appreciated to protect the interest of the petitioners by showing indulgence at this stage".
"In the meantime, respondent 3 and 4 (concernced universities) are directed to consider the claim of petitioners for issuance of certificates with reference to having completed the Ph.D degrees in accordance with University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of Ph.D Degrees Regulations), 2009," the court said and directed the varsities to issue certificates within a week to the petitioners if found eligible.
The Commission, the court said, on production of such certificates by petitioners shall give them exemption and conduct their interview.
The court, however, said the decision with reference to merit obtained by petitioners shall be kept in a sealed cover and produced before this court by next date of hearing.
It also asked the Commission to conduct interview the petitioners notwithstanding closure of the date of interview.