[ Assistant Professors’ selection ] High Court asks authorities to allow PhD holders in exam provisionally

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has asked the authorities to provisionally allow PhD holders to appear in examination for Assistant Professor (AP) for Government College of Engineering and Technology in Higher Education Department.

The Court also asked Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to decide within a month an application filed before it wherein advertisement notification for selection of APs in Government College of Engineering and Technology has been challenged.

The petitioners have challenged non-inclusion of the qualification of PhD in the eligibility criteria in the notification issued on June 30 with reference to the posts in the field of Civil Engineering/Computer Engineering/Computer Science & Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering, Electrical & Electronics and Electrical Engineering, as B.E/B.Tech and Master’s Degree in relevant branch with first class or equivalent either in BE/B. Tech or Master’s Degree.

The petitioners have actually challenged a CAT order by virtue of which interim relief was denied to them with the Tribunal observing that the “ PSC has taken care of the PhD Degree by prescribing 15 points for the same.”

After hearing the counsel representing the aggrieved candidates, a bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal observed that “the application filed by petitioners is pending adjudication before the CAT and the same has not been decided finally as the next date of hearing has been fixed on September 6, 2022 and the time has been granted to the counsel for the respondents to file reply.”

While the court said that CAT has simply declined the interim relief on the ground that the petitioners are qualified to apply for the posts of Assistant Professor , it held as “premature” the finding that the respondents have taken care of the PhD degree.

“On the one hand, the CAT granted time to the Dy. Advocate General to file reply in the main petition and on the other hand, the findings have been recorded by the CAT which has direct bearing on the outcome of relief sought by the petitioners, the Court said, adding, “it is premature on the part of CAT to record such finding in absence of the detailed reply of the Government.”

The CAT, the court said, will also go in the question with regard to the weightage of points for candidates being direct PhD after passing B.E/B. Tech with GATE.

The court pointed out that the petitioners, without waiting for the outcome of the application before the CAT, have filed the present petition urging similar grounds and are seeking the same relief, “which is not maintainable.”

However the court allowed the petitioners to participate “provisionally” for the post of Assistant Professor for Government College of Engineering and Technology.

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