Mar 10, 2020, 12:12 PM IST

The Patna High Court recently dismissed a petition filed by final year students of the Chanakya National Law University (CNLU), Patna challenging an advertisement issued by the Bihar Public Service Commission for the post of Assistant Prosecution Officer.

The petitioners wanted to apply for the said post. However, the advertisement specified that applicants must be law graduates on the date of application. The cut-off date prescribed thus preceded the date on which the petitioners would have obtained their law degree.

Whereas the last date for application was March 6, the petitioners were due to take their final exams only in April.

The petitioners, however, based their case on the fact that they would be law graduates by the time of appointment. In this regard, it was pointed out that the relevant rules only prescribed that the Assistant Prosecution Officer must be a law graduate.

Pertinently, these rules were silent as regards the stage of selection when the applicant must be a law graduate. In other words, the petitioners highlighted that the minimum qualification of being a graduate of law was for the purpose of “appointment”, but not a prerequisite for “application”.

Thus, it was argued that the advertisement ought not to have restricted prospective law graduates from applying for the post of Assistant Prosecution Officer.

Justice Madhuresh Prasad, however, held that the petitioners had no enforceable claim. In the absence of any cut-off date in the Rules, the Court found that the date would be as decided by the government. In this regard, the Court relied on the case of Bhupinderpal Singh & Ors v State of Punjab & OrsJustice Prasad said,

“… the Apex Court in the case of Bhupinderpal Singh (supra) has held that the cut-off date on which the eligibility requirement is required to be satisfied by the candidate is either the date appointed by the relevant Service Rules, and if there be no cut-off date appointed by the Rules, the same may be appointed for this purpose in the Advertisement calling for applications.”

Patna High Court


While this is the case, the Court noted that,

In the instant case, the Advertisement issued by the Commission clearly prescribes at Note (4) that the candidates are required to possess their testimonials in support of requisite qualifications issued prior to 06.03.2020 being the last date for making applications failing which the candidate shall be cancelled.”

The High Court, therefore, dismissed the petition while holding that the date of prescription in the advertisement cannot be faulted in any manner, in view of the settled legal position.

The petitioners, Piyush Kamal, Himanshu Gupta, Manish Kumar and Amresh Kumar appeared party-in-person. Advocate Ganesh Khanna also appeared for the petitioners.

Government Pleader Mohd Nadim Seraj appeared for the Government of Bihar. The Bihar Public Service Commission was represented by Advocates Ashok Kumar Choudhary and Akshansh Ankit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation