Mid-Process Correction In Recruitment Application not permissible: Allahabad HC
The Division Bench of Allahabad High Court in The Basic Education Board U.P. Vs. Manisha Singh — Special Appeal Defective No. – 551 of 2021 set aside orders of single judge bench allowing correction in the online application form for Recruitment Examination 2019 for the post of Assistant Teacher. The Court rejected the candidate’s plea to correct her graduation marks – CGPA of 7.57 which she submitted as 8 since the marks could not be filled in the format of fractions in the online application.
The two-judge bench of Hon’ble Munishwar Nath Bhandari, Acting Chief Justice, and Hon’ble Rajendra Kumar held:
It is for the reason that the candidates would commit deliberate mistake in disclosure of marks and after determination of merit, to seek corrections unsettling the process of recruitment. If the correction of the marks is permitted in the manner, it has been allowed despite knowing deliberate default, then the process of selection would become endless and otherwise would be delayed.
The appellant issued an advertisement inviting applications for the post of Assistant Teacher through Recruitment Examination 2019. The advertisement specified the eligibility criteria and procedure of recruitment. The respondent appeared in the recruitment examination after applying and scored 128 marks. She was required to fill online application form before counselling which was needed for the preparation of the merit list based on marks obtained in different exams like High School, Intermediate, and Graduation. The last date for the same was 26.05.2020. As the respondent had a CGPA of 7.57 in the graduation and the online application did not provide for filling the fraction, thus 0.57 was taken as 1 and it was shown 8 marks out of 10 becoming 80% marks. However, the respondent obtained the certificate from the university after the last date of application on 08.06.2020 where her percentage was shown to be 71.91%.
The Government by order dated 05.03.2021 declared that if a candidate has disclosed higher marks than obtained then his/her form would be rejected. The application form of the respondent candidate was accordingly rejected. Aggrieved by the same, the candidate approached the court where Single Judge Bench allowed correction in the application form relying on the Apex Court Judgement in Archana Chauhan Vs. The State of U.P. and Ors — Civil Appeal No. 3068 of 2020.
In the present appeal, the division bench held that the facts of the Archana Chauhan Case (Supra) did not apply to the present case. In the case of Archana Chauhan, the candidate had disclosed her marks as 362 out of 5000 instead of 362 out of 500. The disclosure of marks was correct but the error was only regarding the total marks. In the present case, however, there were clear guidelines regarding the format of the online application form, which indicated that the percentage obtained in the exams was the basis of calculating the merit. The court held:
It is not that the non-appellant/petitioner was not having time for it rather a period of 12 years is considerable time for the aforesaid. If the non-appellant/petitioner is now extended the benefit for her default and could be deliberate, it is nothing but to extend benefit to the wrongdoer and that too when there was no ambiguity in the instruction or in the online application
The court, therefore, protecting the interests of candidates who rightly disclosed marks and placed in the merit list and will be displaced if correction is allowed, upheld the Government Order rejecting the application of the candidate and allowed the appeal.