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Subsequent Questioning on Selection Process Inadmissible: Gujarat HC

Subsequent Questioning on Selection Process Inadmissible: Gujarat HC

08.07.2021 | Education News | EduLegaL  | www.edulegal.org | mail@edulegal.in

29th June 2021, the High Court of Gujarat in Bhavin Jitendrabhai Cholera v. State of Gujarat held that once a candidate has failed in the selection process, he/she cannot question the process subsequently.

A single bench consisting of Bhargav D. Karia held:

The factual position undisputedly emerges is that the petitioner participated in the selection C/SCA/19125/2017 ORDER DATED: 29/06/2021 process. The final answer keys were published on 09.04.2017 as stated above about which the petitioner was aware. At that stage, he did not question the correctness of the answers contained in the final keys. Interviews were held subsequent to the publishing of the answer keys, in which also the petitioner appeared. It was only when he failed to succeed in the interview and did not find place in the final selection list, that he filed the present petition raising the grievance about the correctness of the answers.

It is well settled proposition of law that once a candidate takes part in the process of selection, takes a chance but upon failing to be selected challenges selection process, he is estopped from subsequently questioning his non-selection. Taking part in the selection process would disentitle him from raising a challenge against the selection.

The petitioner through an advertisement published by the Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC) had applied for Gujarat Administrative Services. He appeared for the prelims, main, and interview on 12.10.2014, 27.06.2016, and 17.05.2017 respectively. He successfully cleared the prelims and main but at the interview stage, his name was not on the merit list.

Subsequently, the petitioner approached the court praying for the issue of the writ of mandamus directing the Gujarat Public Service Commission to take into consideration the objections raised by the petitioner and thereafter grant grace marks for 12 questions against which wrong answers were mentioned in the answer key and to grant 2 additional marks for question no. 14(B), a question asking for a descriptive answer where another candidate was awarded 4 marks whereas he was given 2. The court questioned the counsel on the source of the answer script of the other candidate; it was found to be sourced from the internet. Such an approach, the court said, was unacceptable under the purview of Article 226 of the Constitution. Moreover, on inquiry, it was found by the court that the petitioner had neither applied for rechecking nor had paid any fees in that regard.

Accordingly, the court referring to earlier Supreme Court judgments – G. Saranav v. University of Lucknow[1] where it was held that when the facts were known to the appellant, delay in submitting his request and waiting until the interview was inadmissible and in Ramesh Chandra Shah and others vs. Anil Joshi and others[2] held that where the appellant had taken part in the selection process with the knowledge of the general rules regarding the process of selection, the appellant had waived his right to question the same.

Furthermore, the court also stated that there are certain situations where expert opinion is needed and the court or judiciary cannot engage in a review of the same.

 ..the kind and nature of controversy raised by the petitioner which is in the realm of education pertaining to the correctness of the key answers, this Court exercising Writ powers would have a very limited role to play. The scope of judicial review is extremely limited.

Consequently, the court concluded that the petitioner had delayed in filing the suit as to the correctness of the answer key dismissed the petition without costs.

[1] (1976) 3 SSC 585

[2] (2013) 11 SCC 309

Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL

Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL

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