Srinagar, Feb 3: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has declined a plea challenging withdrawal of provisional selection list by the government regarding engagement of Rehbar-e-Khel for Drugmulla zone in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
“It is a settled law that mere selection of a candidate does not entitle him to seek appointment to a particular post nor is a candidate, who finds his name in the select list entitled to seek a direction upon an authority to conclude the selection process so that the appointment orders are issued in his favour,” the court said.
Underscoring that in the instant case, even the selection of the petitioners was yet to be finalized as their selection was provisional in nature subject to the objections, the court said:
“Once the official respondents considered the objections, they withdrew the provisional select list”. The same, the court said, was well within their competence and jurisdiction particularly in view of the fact that the selection was made by an incompetent Selection Committee and there were a large number of misdemeanors observed in the selection process. In pursuance to an advertisement notice issued by the Youth Services and Sports Department in January 2018, 12 candidates had been selected as Rehbar-e-Khael in Drugmulla zone.
In all, 223 vacancies were filled up across 13 zones in Kupwara but authorities withdrew the provisional selection list of 12 candidates as regards zone Drugmulla in May 2019 amid complaints of nepotism and favoritism by a selection committee. Acting on a report by a committee constituted,the authorities had also ordered a fresh process for engagement against these positions.
Dismissing the plea, a bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar held that “the petitioners do not have any vested right to seek a direction upon authorities concerned to take forward the selection process on the basis of provisional select list”.
The Court observed that a look at the document placed on record by officials would reveal that all these six candidates, who were stated to be relatives of the officials of the Department, have secured very high marks as compared to the other selected candidates and the candidates who have been rejected.
“This clearly gives an impression that the interview committee has been influenced by the officers/officials of the Department as a result of which they have awarded higher marks to these six candidates in the interview. Thus, a genuine doubt is cast on the fairness of the selection process,” court said.
Moreover, the Court noted that the record showed that the interview of the candidates pertaining to Drugmulla Zone, was not conducted by a duly constituted Selection Committee.
“It is an admitted case of the parties that the interview was conducted by the Additional Deputy Commissioner in place of the Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara”.
As per Rehbar-e-Khel Scheme, the Selection Committee comprises District Development Commissioner concerned as its Chairman, District Youth Services & Sports Officer as its Member Secretary and District Employment & Counselling Officer and Zonal Physical Education Officer as its members.
Rejecting the contention of the petitioners that Additional Deputy Commissioner Kupwara had the approval of the Deputy Commissioner to act on his behalf and that selection committee cannot be stated to be incompetent one, the court said: “
Without the presence of the Deputy Commissioner the Committee of the selection members was rendered defective”.