Tuesday, January 8, 2013

**** OA No 222 of 2011 (IR rejected -shortlisting for interview)

**** OA No 222 of 2011
(Interim Order rejected Grounds) --
The learned Counsel for applicant has taken us through Annexure A4 and also other citations 2003(3) SCC 541 – P.M.Latha & another Vs. State of Kerala & Others.  His main prayer in the OA is that while the applicant has submitted an application against the post of Group 'D' as notified by AG, Bangalore Office No.AG(C&CA)/Admn.I/A1/2010-11/231 dated 16-22.10.2010 for which the minimum required qualification is SSLC and the total of 57  vacancies in the open category.  However, at para-8  of the notice also indicates the office if considered necessary may adopt a system of short listing of candidates and only the short listed candidates would be called for interview.  It appears that the respondent office has actually short listed some candidates and have issued interview letters to them only leaving behind the present applicants and some more like them who are not before us.  Hence it appears just and fair to us to issue notice to the respondent department and call for their reply as to why the present applicants have not been notified for interview.  The issue for admitting this OA will be decided only after receiving reply from respondents hence the respondents are directed to file their reply within 14 days.  In view of the urgency Shri M.V.Rao, Senior Standing Counsel on behalf of the Government of India has agreed to take notice and submits that he will file the reply within 4 weeks.

It is further prayed by the applicant's learned Counsel that by way of interim relief this Tribunal may direct  the respondents  to allow these two applicants who have SSLC qualification which is the minimum prescribed qualification to appear for interview.  However, we are not inclined to do so in view of the fact that for this Group 'D' post there may be large number of candidates and the respondent department has already notified that they may adopt the procedure of short listing.  It is also stated by the learned Counsel for applicant to the best of his information that the short listing is done to candidates holding graduation qualification and excluding SSLC which is the minimum qualification prescribed.  However, in the absence of any information as to how many candidates have applied, we are not in a position to ascertain what will be the burden on the respondents if the interim prayer is granted.  The general norm which is applicable in the Government offices for selection of posts is to interview candidates in the ratio of 5:1 i.e., 5 candidates to be interviewed for one post.  However, if the number of candidates who have applied goes far beyond 5 times the posts then short listing from among the available candidates is a common procedure.  Hence  we do not see any reason at this stage to grant the interim prayer.   We would however like to mention that the respondents have to come back to us within 14 days with the information of number of candidates applied in each of the category as mentioned in their notice dated 16-22.10.2010 under which a total of 125 vacancies including all category has been notified.  The respondents should submit the information of number of applications received under each category and the number of short listed candidates under each category.  They may also indicate the criteria of short listing.  Accordingly post on 14.7.2011. Based on  these information the learned Counsel for applicant is at liberty to freshly agitate the interim prayer on the next date.
A copy of this order may be given to  both the Counsel today itself.  The learned Counsel for applicant may ensure that the learned Senior Counsel for Government gets a copy of the OA today itself.

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