HPAT passed the order without any application of mind: HC

Himachal Pradesh High Court set aside the selection process for the post of Assistant Conservator of Forests, Class One in the Department of Forests stating that the HP Administrative Tribunal allowed the process after passing an interim order without application of mind. Allowing an appeal against the official order of the Tribunal single judge bench of justice

 Satyen Vaidya set aside the appointment of four individuals as AC of the State Forests Department in a judgment pronounced recently released to media today. 

The bench held that HPAT (now wind up by state government) did not consider the consequences of allowing the private respondents to appear for the interview against the above posts petitioners had sought several reliefs, including the quashing and setting aside of Notification dated May 20, 2019, related to the appointment of respondents as Assistant Conservator of Forests.

The court  after hearing the arguments of both parties held that the tribunal’s order was not in line with the law and the facts of the case 

Court also accepted the request of petitioners to quash the entire process of selection for the posts of Conservator of Forest Class – I ( Gazetted ).

 The petition alleged that aggrieved petitioners had qualified the physical standards, while the private respondents had failed to meet the requisite chest expansion measurement but respondents seeking sought permission from Tribunal to appear for the interview for the post provisionally.

 Under the selection process for AC, candidates are mandatorily required to undergo and qualify for a screening test, written test, physical standards, and walking test before being called for an interview. The prescribed physical standards were part of essential qualifications. For males the requirement of chest measurement was 79 Cm without expansion and 84 Cm with expansion and for females it was 74 Cm without expansion and 79 Cm with expansion. 

The rules governing the selection process by the respondent (PSC)   provided an opportunity for re-test on physical standards. 

Petitioner further contends that by allowing the private respondents to undergo a re-test on physical standards rights of petitioners have been prejudiced and the candidates who otherwise could not qualify for the essential requirements of physical standards, were finally selected.

The petitioners argued that the order passed by the tribunal was arbitrary and against the law as it directed the respondent’s State Public Service Commission to conduct a fresh physical test for the measurement of the applicants’ chests. 

They claimed that the respondents had wrongfully permitted the private respondents to appear for the interview and conduct a fresh physical test for measurement of their chests. 

They further contended that the respondents had violated the principle of natural justice by not giving them an opportunity to contest the order.

The High Court, therefore, set aside the order passed by the tribunal and directed the respondents to conclude the selection process based on the result declared on December 10, 2018, and take it to its logical conclusion.

Leave a Reply

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