High Court Upholds Merit, Orders Appointment of Candidate Over Less Qualified Competitor

Viewfinder:

Ravinder Singh, the petitioner, found justice in his quest for rightful employment. Despite outperforming in the selection process for a driver’s position at the J & K State Sports Council, he was overlooked in favor of a less qualified, and allegedly ineligible candidate.

Background:

The Council had advertised two vacant driver positions, one in each of the Kashmir and Jammu Provinces. Both Singh and the second respondent had applied for these positions, underwent an evaluation process and were rated based on their performance. Despite securing more points than the other applicants, including the second respondent, Singh was not appointed, while the latter was employed, despite being reportedly overage according to the job advertisement.

Question(s) of Law:

The key legal question was the rights of a candidate in a selection process and whether an employer, especially a state institution, can selectively appoint candidates, disregarding the merit hierarchy established through the selection process.

Order:

In a significant ruling, the High Court ordered the respondent Council to offer the driver’s appointment to Singh, the most meritorious candidate, and to confer upon him all the subsequent benefits that the position entails.

Judge:

The verdict was pronounced by Honโ€™ble Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal Wani.

Lawyers:

Representing the petitioner was Mr. T.H. Khawaja, Advocate, while the respondent was represented by Mr. Sajad Ashraf, GA.

Date of Order:

The judgment was reserved on 19.04.2023 and pronounced on 05.06.2023.

Title of the Case:

The case is registered as SWP No. 1015/2015, Ravinder Singh vs. J & K State Sports Council and ors.

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