Srinagar, May 17: The J&K High Court on Monday upheld its single bench’s verdict, dismissing petitions which had challenged Jammu and Kashmir Bank’s re-notification for filling up of 1500 banking associates’ vacancies.
On March 22 last, the court’s single bench had dismissed petitions filed by at least 288 aspiring candidates who had participated in the selection process pursuant to a notification on 6 October 2018 and had challenged the bank’s 15th April 2020 announcement cancelling the whole process.
Subsequently, the bank had issued an advertisement notice (no. JKB/HR-Rectt-2020-27 & 28) on 1 January 2020, inviting applications from the desirous candidates for the posts.
In their appeal against the dismissal of petition by the single bench, the appellants— prospective candidates— said that they applied for the posts pursuant to the advertisement notice on 6th October 2018. The examination was conducted online, but before completion, the selection process as a whole was cancelled, they said. They contended that the action on part of the bank infringes their legal rights and the same was also “arbitrary”.
“The cancellation of the selection process was challenged by the appellants by invoking the extraordinary jurisdiction of the Court. The writ Court dismissed the petition recording that as the petitioners were only prospective candidates, they have not acquired any indefeasible right to seek selection/appointment on the basis of the advertisement alone and therefore the cancellation of the selection process do not infringes any of their legal right,” a division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul.
“There is no arbitrariness in the cancellation of the selection process as the court records that it stands admitted to the appellants that the respondents (bank) had the authority to cancel the selection process.”
The division bench, as per -GNS, observed that the stand of the bank that the recruitment process in question had gone wrong “stands substantiated by the records.”
“The respondents (bank) have construed the recruitment district wise and framed the merit list accordingly. Moreover, the respondents have not applied rule of reservation in selection process which certainly was incurable,” the court said, adding, “ Therefore, the cancellation of selection process is justified and is not arbitrary.”
As regards the argument that reservation is not applicable, the court said it is a debatable point.
However, the court said that in such circumstances if the process as a whole has been cancelled it cannot be said to be illegal or arbitrary.