Gujarat High Court bench today dismissed a petition filed by a Civil Judge from Rajasthan, who is actually a native of the state of Gujarat, seeking an appointment to the post of Civil Judge in Gujarat. Justice Ashutosh J Shastri asserted that the advertisement inviting application for the vacant 2019 posts clearly stated the eligibility requirements of the candidates. The petitioner was not a member of the specified department, and hence, was not eligible for the post.
The petitioner had applied for the post of a Civil Judge at the Rajasthan High Court, and was duly appointed in 2021. However, in February this year, the petitioner noticed advertisement inviting applications to fill 2019 posts for Civil Judges in Gujarat.
Being interested in the post, the petitioner took permission from the Rajasthan high court. The petitioner had made a detailed presentation but failed to acquire permission in time and missed the last date to apply. Thus, a detailed representation was made in March 2022 requesting the authority to consider the petitioner for the appointment.
The Court observed that exercising judicial review cannot second guess the suitability of a candidate for any public office or post. Absent evidence of malice or mindlessness (to the materials), or illegality by the public employer, intense scrutiny on why a candidate is excluded as unsuitable renders the courts’ decision suspect to the charge of trespass into executive power of determining the suitability of an individual for the appointment.
However, as Justice Shastri noted, for unknown reason the petitioner did not submit her application immediately, instead filing the petition just a few days ahead of the exam.
Then the Court highlighted the judgement in Dr Thingujam Achouba Singh and others Vs. Dr H. Nabachandra Singh and others (2020) 20 SCC 312 that, “The eligibility criteria will be within the domain of the employer and no candidate can seek as a matter of right, to provide relaxation clause.”
Also, the Court stressed clause 10(7) of the advertisement which did not entitle her to apply. “The Court is not inclined either to interfere or to substitute any of the conditions stipulated in the advertisement”, Justice Ashutosh J Shastri stated.