Sweety Kumari V/S The State Of Bihar And Others [Civil Appeal No. 6072 Of 2023]
The Apex court in a recent judgment held that the appellants’ candidature could not have been rejected merely because the original was not produced before the Commission at the time of interview in particular when such requirement was not mandatory, in view of the manner in which the Rules are couched.
The division bench of Justice J.K. Maheshwari and Justice K.V. Viswanathan observed that according to Bihar Civil Service (Judicial Branch) (Recruitment), Rules, 1955, the candidate should possess the character certificate and if required, it may be made available at the time of interview.
The court stated that the said language makes it clear that the production of the original certificates at the time of interview is not mandatory but directory. This is apparent from the language of second note to Rule 9 which uses the word “may be required to produce the originals before commission at the time of viva-voce test”.
It was noted by the apex court that in furtherance to the Rules, the advertisement was issued.
The bench further noted that the certificates of educational qualification and other required documents on the date of the submission of the online application form must be necessarily possessed but its production is not mandatory.
Appellant Sweety Kumari has averred in the writ petition and the Special Leave Petition that her original character certificate was submitted in the State Bar Council and the same was not made available to her within the stipulated deadline despite her best attempts.
On the other hand, appellant Vikramaditya Mishra has averred that the department of his Law College has sent the original character certificate to the Controller of Examination, BPSC by post which was dispatched on 25.11.2019 and delivered to BPSC on 27.11.2019. Despite the same, their candidature was rejected for want of original copies of the character certificate.
The court while reiterating the Judgment of Charles K. Skaria and Others vs. Dr. C. Mathew and Others said that if a person possesses eligibility before the date of actual selection, he cannot be denied benefit because its proof is produced later.
The controversy came into light when the candidature of the appellants Sweety Kumari and Vikramaditya Mishra in Bihar Judicial Services Examination was rejected on account of not producing the original character certificates at the time of interview. True photocopies were produced. However, while declaring the result on 27.11.2019 / 29.11.2019, the candidature of the present two appellants as well as of one, Aarav Jain were rejected by a common communication.
On the other hand, appellant Aditi applied in the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category in furtherance to the 31st Bihar Judicial Service Competitive Examination.
Her candidature was rejected on the ground of not having the law degree certificate on the date of interview.
The bench viewed that present two appellants Sweety Kumari and Vikramaditya Mishra cannot be discriminated against by not granting relief merely because of non-availability of vacancies in the 30th Examination.
The court held that because the appellants were candidates of merit, they be extended the benefit at par with the Aarav Jain and others.
The ruling was delivered by the Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice J.K. Maheshwari and Justice K.V. Viswanathan.