Indresh Kumar Mishra and Ors. vs The State of Jharkhand & Ors

Indresh Kumar Mishra and Ors. vs The State of Jharkhand & Ors - Supreme Court Case Decision -

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2217-2218 OF 2022
Indresh Kumar Mishra and Ors. …Appellant(s)
Versus
The State of Jharkhand & Ors. …Respondent(s)
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2220 OF 2022
Amit Kumar Vishwakarma & Ors. …Appellant(s)
Versus
The State of Jharkhand & Ors. …Respondent(s)
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2219 OF 2022
Manish Kumar & Ors. …Appellant(s)
Versus
The State of Jharkhand & Ors. …Respondent(s)
AND
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2221 OF 2022
Ram Byas Pandey & Ors. …Appellant(s)
Versus
The State of Jharkhand & Ors. …Respondent(s)
1
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgments
and orders passed by the Division Bench of the High Court in Letters
Patent Appeal Nos. 796 of 2019 and 826 of 2019 by which the Division
Bench of the High Court has confirmed the respective judgments and
orders passed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court dismissing
the writ petitions, the original writ petitioners have preferred the present
appeals.
1.1 The present appeals are of two categories. Civil Appeal Nos.
2217-2218 of 2022, Civil Appeal No. 2219 of 2022 and Civil Appeal No.
2221 of 2022 are with respect to the writ petitioners, who applied for the
post of Postgraduate Trained Teacher in the subject History and Civil
Appeal No. 2220 of 2022 is with respect to the original writ petitioners,
who applied for the post of Graduate Trained Teacher in the subject of
History/Civics.
2. The facts leading to the present appeals in a nutshell are as
under:-
2
Facts in respect of Postgraduate Trained Teachers
2.1 That the Department of Personnel, Administrative Reforms and
Rajbhasha, Government of Jharkhand vide its letter dated 24.07.2017
forwarded requisition of the Department of School Education and
Literacy (Secondary Education Directorate) Government of Jharkhand to
the Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission (hereinafter referred to as
“J.S.S.C.”) in terms of the Appointment Rules, 2012 for starting the
selection process for appointment to the post of Postgraduate Trained
Teachers in the High School of the State of Jharkhand for different
subjects under different categories.
2.2 That the J.S.S.C. after receiving the request, started the selection
process for appointment to the post of Postgraduate Trained Teachers
(P.G.T.T.) in the State of Jharkhand in different subjects, i.e., Chemistry,
Physics, History etc. Accordingly, advertisement No.10/2017 was issued
by which applications were invited from the eligible candidates for
considering their candidature for appointment to the post of
Postgraduate Trained Teachers. It was a combined advertisement for
the post of Postgraduate Trained Teachers for different subjects under
different categories. The advertisement provided the pay-scale and
minimum educational qualification for the posts. That as per the
advertisement, the eligibility criteria for the post of Postgraduate Trained
Teachers in the subject History was that a candidate must have obtained
3
a Postgraduate degree with 50% marks in the related subjects (in the
subject of History).
2.3 Pursuant to the advertisement, the respective original writ
petitioners applied for the said posts and participated in the selection
process. All of them submitted their application forms online and in their
forms, they also mentioned their respective educational qualifications as
Postgraduates in Hindi. They were allowed to appear in the
examination, who were also declared successful on the basis of their
performance in the examination. After publication of the result,
successful candidates were required to get verification of their
testimonials. At the time of verification of the testimonials, the respective
original writ petitioners submitted their Postgraduate degree certificates.
It was found that the respective original writ petitioners were having a
Postgraduate degree in Medieval History; Ancient History; Ancient
History and Culture; Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology etc.
respectively from different universities and as such they failed to submit
the Postgraduate degree in History in terms of the advertisement. It was
found that the respective petitioners had Postgraduate degrees in one of
branches of History in place of History as a whole and, therefore, showcause notices were issued to them by J.S.S.C. to show-cause why their
4
candidatures may not be cancelled as they failed to submit the certificate
of Master of Arts (Postgraduation) with the subject “History”.
2.4 At that stage, some of the writ petitioners filed the writ petitions
before the High Court and some filed writ petitions after their
candidatures were cancelled. The learned Single Judge dismissed their
respective writ petitions holding that the original writ petitioners were
ineligible for the selection and appointment as Postgraduate Teacher in
History subject. The learned Single Judge held that only those
candidates, who have obtained degree exclusively in the subject
“History” as per the advertisement are entitled for consideration for
appointment to the said post.
2.5 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgments and orders
passed by the learned Single Judge in dismissing the writ petitions, the
original writ petitioners preferred letters patent appeals before the
Division Bench of the High Court. By the impugned judgments and
orders, the Division Bench of the High Court has dismissed the Letters
Patent Appeals and has confirmed the judgments and orders passed by
the learned Single Judge dismissing the writ petitions, which has given
rise to the present Civil Appeal Nos. 2217-2218 of 2022, Civil Appeal No.
2219 of 2022 and Civil Appeal No. 2221 of 2022.
5
Facts in respect of Graduate Trained Teachers
2.1.1 That the Department of Personnel, Administrative Reforms and
Rajbhasha, Government of Jharkhand by letters dated 23.09.2016,
04.11.2016 and 02.02.2017 sent the requisition to the J.S.S.C. for
starting the selection process for appointment to the post of Graduate
Trained Teachers in different subjects in different Districts of the State.
That the J.S.S.C. after receiving the requisition, started selection
process for appointment to the post of Graduate Trained Teachers and
accordingly invited online applications for the Common Graduate Trained
Teacher Competition Examination, 2016. The advertisement
No.21/2016 was published by which applications were invited from the
eligible candidates for considering their candidatures for appointment
against the advertised posts. As per the advertisement, for the post of
History/Civics, the eligibility criteria was “Graduate with History and
Political Science but out of two subjects, one subject must have 45 per
cent marks and B.Ed. from institute recognized or B.Ed. from National
Teachers Education Council and for SC/ST minimum 40 per cent”.
2.1.2 The respective writ petitioners submitted their application forms
online for considering their candidatures for appointment to the post of
Graduate Trained Teacher (G.T.T.) for subject ‘History and Civics’. They
mentioned their educational qualification as Graduate in History and
Political Science in their online application forms.
6
2.1.3 On the basis of the declaration made by them in the online
application form, they were allowed to appear in the examination and
they were also declared successful on the basis of their performance in
the examination. After publication of the result, the successful
candidates were called for verification of their testimonials.
On the date of the verification of the testimonials, the original writ
petitioners submitted their certificates of Graduation degree. It was
found that they were having the Graduate Degree in Ancient History;
Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology and Medieval History etc.
respectively from different universities and they failed to submit their
Graduation degree in ‘History’ in terms of the advertisement. Therefore,
it was found that as the petitioners had Graduation degree in one of the
branches of the subject History in place of ‘History’ as a whole and
therefore, they were not eligible for the post of Graduate Trained
Teachers in the subjects of History and Civics as they cannot be said to
be having the requisite qualification in terms of the advertisement.
2.1.4 The show cause notices were issued to them to show cause why
their candidatures may not be cancelled on the ground that they are not
having the requisite qualification in terms of the advertisement and
7
therefore ineligible for the post of Graduate Trained Teacher in the
subject of History and Civics.
2.1.5 At that stage and after their candidatures were cancelled, the
respective petitioners filed the writ petitions before the High Court. The
learned Single Judge of the High Court dismissed the writ petitions by
observing and holding that obtaining the Bachelor degree in one of the
branches of the subject, namely, History cannot be said to be obtaining
the Graduation degree in the subject of ‘History’ as a whole and
therefore, they are not eligible as they cannot be said to be having the
requisite qualification in terms of the advertisement.
2.1.6 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgments and orders
passed by the learned Single Judge dismissing the writ petitions, the
original writ petitioners preferred Letters Patent Appeals before the High
Court. By the impugned judgments and orders, the High Court has
dismissed the said Letters Patent Appeals. Hence the original writ
petitioners have preferred the present Civil Appeal No. 2220 of 2022.

3. Mrs. V. Mohana, learned Senior Advocate and Ms. Mandavi
Pandey, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respective
appellants have vehemently submitted that the advertisements itself
were confusing. It is submitted that in the advertisements, the word
8
“History/Civics” has been mentioned, so far as Graduate Trained
Teacher is concerned.
3.1 It is further submitted that as such the original writ petitioners are
having the prescribed requisite minimum educational qualifications as a
Graduate in the related subject (the requisite qualification in History and
Political Science). It is submitted that on a conjoint reading of the post
which had to be filled and the minimum educational qualifications
prescribed, it is clear that Graduation in related subject with minimum 45
per cent marks was the requisite qualification. That all the petitioners
have obtained the Graduation/Postgraduation degree in Indian Ancient
History, Indian Ancient History and Culture, Medieval / Modern History,
Indian Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology indicating specialization
in the History subject. It is submitted that the papers pursued by the
petitioners are in “History”. It is submitted that admittedly, the
petitioners also studied Political Science in their Graduation. Therefore,
the respondents ought not to have rejected the candidature of the
petitioners on the ground that they did not have the requisite
qualifications as per the advertisement.
3.2 It is further submitted that the High Court has not properly
appreciated the fact that so far as G.T.T. candidates are concerned, no
Expert Committee was constituted to consider the educational
9
qualifications obtained by them. It is submitted that as such the Expert
Committee considered the Postgraduate degrees obtained by the
respective candidates, who applied for the post of P.G.T.T. (History).
3.3 It is further submitted that even the so-called Committee
comprised only of the local Institutions and persons from the State of
Jharkhand alone. That the so-called Expert Committee was never
constituted in the case of G.T.T. candidates and it was restricted to
considering the cases of P.G.T.T. candidates.
3.4 Mrs. Mohana, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the
petitioners - G.T.T. candidates has further submitted that even the case
of G.T.T. cannot be compared with that of P.G.T.T. candidates. It is
submitted that the minimum eligibility requirement in both were
completely different. Applications for P.G.T.T. candidates were invited
only to teach “History” and the requirement was degree in the related
subject. On the other hand, G.T.T. candidates were required for teaching
“History/Civics” and the minimum eligibility is also different.
3.5 It is further submitted that in the present case, the principle of
legitimate expectation ought to be invoked in view of the fact that in the
identically worded previous advertisements, the candidates having
10
similar / identical qualifications as that of the petitioners were selected
and are working.
3.6 It is further submitted that the Hon’ble High Court ought to have
appreciated that the other States and the instrumentalities of those
States recognize the degrees which the petitioners are having, for the
concerned post/subject. It is submitted that even Kendriya Vidyalaya,
which is controlled by the Central Government appoints candidates
possessing Graduation degree in Ancient Indian History / Ancient Indian
History and Archaeology / Medieval and Modern History for the post of
G.T.T. (History) and does not make an objection upon such degrees of
those candidates. It is submitted that as such at the Secondary level,
there is no composite subject like Social Studies. It is submitted that
Secondary level is upto Class X only which has subject Social Studies.
3.7 It is further submitted that as such it is clarified in the respective
certificates issued by the respective universities that the Ancient Indian
History / Ancient Indian History and Archaeology / Medieval and Modern
History is an integral part of the History and is equivalent to History as a
subject. It is submitted that the said subjects come under the subject
“History”. It is urged that therefore the respective candidates are eligible
for teaching the History/Civics.
11
3.8 It is further submitted that the High Court has not properly
appreciated the fact that in the various Universities there is
heterogeneity at the Graduation level while conferring degrees in various
subjects. Some Universities confer Bachelor of Arts in the subject itself
like B.A. in History and some Universities confer B.A. in related branch
of History indicating specialization like B.A. in Medieval History and B.A.
in Ancient History etc. It is submitted that all these degrees indicating
various specializations in various related branches of History cannot be
construed as divorced from subject “History”.
3.9 Mrs. Mohana, learned Senior Advocate has heavily relied upon the
decision of the learned Single Judge of the Jharkhand High Court in Writ
Petition No.1130 of 2017 – Hari Sharma and Ors. Vs. State of
Jharkhand by which with respect to the very advertisement and very
post in the subject, “History/Civics”, it is observed and held that the
qualification for appointment on the post of G.T.T. for “History/Civics” in
Advertisement No. 21 of 2016 is arbitrary, discriminatory and illegal and
it is contrary to Jharkhand Appointment Rules. It is submitted that in the
aforesaid decision, the learned Single Judge also quashed the entire
advertisement No.21 of 2016, more particularly, the posts in the subject
of “History/Civics” on account of serious inconsistencies, mistakes and
12
drafting errors. However, Mrs. Mohana, learned Senior Advocate has
fairly conceded that against the decision of the learned Single Judge, an
appeal is preferred and pending and the judgment and order passed by
the learned Single Judge has been stayed.
3.10 In addition to what has been submitted by Mrs. Mohana, learned
Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the G.T.T., Ms. Mandavi Pandey,
learned counsel appearing on behalf of the P.G.T.T. has vehemently
submitted that the Universities from where they have studied and
obtained the Postgraduation degrees in History/Postgraduate degree
certificates in History are not given and the degree certificates are given
only in the particular specialized branch of History. It is submitted that
therefore the Postgraduation degree in History and Bachelor of Arts
degree in History, both are different and cannot be equated and/or
compared.
4. All these appeals are opposed by Shri Sunil Kumar, learned Senior
Advocate appearing on behalf of the J.S.S.C. and Shri Vishnu Sharma,
learned counsel appearing on behalf of the State of Jharkhand. The
present appeals are also opposed by Shri Ajit Kumar Sinha, learned
Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the impleaders, who are already
appointed and posted.
13
4.1 It is vehemently submitted on behalf of the respective respondents
that the applications were invited by giving advertisements as per Rule
50 of the Rules and especially considering Rule 9. That as per the
advertisement, the requirement was specific, namely combination of
“History/Civics” (post of G.T.T.).
4.2 That according to the State, for History and Civics, only one
teacher is required. Therefore, the requirement was specific –
“History/Civics”. That in the advertisement both for the posts of P.G.T.T.
as well as G.T.T., the candidate must have obtained Masters/Bachelor
degree in ‘History’ and in case of G.T.T. with Political Science with 45 per
cent marks in any one of the subjects. It is submitted that therefore
obtaining the Postgraduate degree/Bachelor degree in History as a
whole is a must. That the candidates should have a degree in Political
Science also so far as post of G.T.T. In the present case, admittedly,
none of the candidates/writ petitioners are having
Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in History as a whole. It is contended
that they have studied and obtained the Postgraduate/Bachelor degrees
in only one of the branches of History namely Indian Ancient History,
Indian Ancient History and Culture, Medieval / Modern History, Indian
Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology, which cannot be said to be
obtaining the Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in History, which was the
requirement. It is urged that even an Expert Committee was constituted
14
by the State Government on the request made by the J.S.S.C. and it
opined that the degrees obtained by the respective writ petitioners
cannot be said to be obtaining / having a Postgraduate degree in the
subject “History”. It is submitted that the same view is applicable with
respect to the Bachelor degree in History. Therefore, the same analogy
is applicable to both – Postgraduate degree in History and Bachelor
degree in History.
4.3 It is further submitted by the learned counsel for the respective
respondents including those, who have already been appointed that only
those candidates, who were having the degrees in History have been
selected and appointed. Shri Sinha, learned Senior Advocate appearing
on behalf of the impleaders submitted that the already appointed
candidates are only those, who were having the Bachelor / Postgraduate
degree in History and not in a particular branch of History.
4.4 Making the above submissions, it is contended that the learned
Single Judge as well as the High Court have rightly refused to grant any
relief in favour of the original writ petitioners on the ground that they
cannot be said to be having the requisite qualifications as per the
advertisement.
15
5. We have heard the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
respective parties at length.
6. At the outset, it is required to be noted that in the present appeals,
the dispute is with respect to the posts namely, Postgraduate Trained
Teacher in History and Graduate Trained Teachers in History/Civics. As
per the State, so far as the G.T.T. is concerned, the requirement was a
combination of History/Civics. As per the advertisement, a candidate
must have the Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in the subject History. So
far as the G.T.T. is concerned, the educational qualifications required
was Bachelor degree in ‘History’ as well as Political Science as the
requirement was for History/Civics. Therefore, for both the posts namely
the Postgraduate Trained Teachers (History) and Graduate Trained
Teachers (History/Civics), a candidate must have the
Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in ‘History’ as a whole.
6.1 We have gone through the degrees/ certificates in the case of the
respective writ petitioners. It appears that the respective writ
petitioners have obtained the Postgraduate degrees/ Bachelor degrees,
as the case may be, in one of the branches of History, namely, Indian
Ancient History, Indian Ancient History and Culture, Medieval / Modern
History, Indian Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology. In our view,
obtaining the degree in one of the branches of History cannot be said to
16
be obtaining the degree in History as a whole. As a History teacher,
he/she has to teach in all the subjects of History, namely, Ancient History,
Indian Ancient History and Culture, Medieval / Modern History, Indian
Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology etc. Therefore, having studied
and obtaining the degree in only one branch of History cannot be said to
be having a degree in History subject as a whole, which was the
requirement. All the relevant aspects have been considered and gone
into in detail by the learned Single Judge meticulously.
6.2 Now, so far as the reliance placed upon the decision of the learned
Single Judge of the Jharkhand High Court in Writ Petition No.1130 of
2017 – Hari Sharma and Ors. Vs. State of Jharkhand is concerned, it is
to be noted that the said decision of the learned Single Judge has been
stayed by the Division Bench in appeal and the decision is pending.
Even the controversy in the said writ petition before the learned Single
Judge was with respect to combination post namely, “History/Civics” and
there was no specific controversy like in the present case.
6.3 It is also required to be noted that all the posts advertised have
been filled in and the respective teachers are working.
6.4 At this stage, it is required to be noted that even at the request of
J.S.S.C. the question, whether, the degrees obtained by the respective
17
petitioners in one branch of History can be said to be sufficient
compliance as per the advertisement and can be said to be obtaining a
degree in History came to be considered by the Expert Committee and
the Expert Committee has opined that the degrees obtained by the
respective candidates/petitioners in one branch of History cannot be said
to be obtaining the degree in History as a whole and therefore they
cannot be said to be having the requisite qualification as per the
advertisement.
6.5 As per the settled proposition of law, in the field of education, the
Court of Law cannot act as an expert normally, therefore, whether or not
a student/candidate is possessing the requisite qualification should
better be left to the educational institutions, more particularly, when the
Expert Committee considers the matter.
6.6 In the present case, the educational qualifications required has
been specifically mentioned in the advertisement. There is no ambiguity
and/or confusion in the advertisement providing educational qualification
and the post for which the applications were invited (History/Civics).
There cannot be any deviation from the educational qualifications
mentioned in the advertisement. Once having found that the respective
writ petitioners – appellants herein were not having the requisite
18
qualification as per the advertisement, namely, the
Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in History, which was the requirement as
per the advertisement and thereafter their candidature was canceled,
both the learned Single Judge as well as the Division Bench of the High
Court have rightly refused to interfere with the same. We are in
complete agreement with the view taken by the learned Single Judge
and the Division Bench of the High Court.
6.7 As observed hereinabove in the online applications, it was stated
by the respective petitioners that they are having the
Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in History and only at the time of
verification of the documents, when the respective certificates were
produced, at that time only, the authorities came to know that the
respective writ petitioners have the degrees in one branch of History and
not in History as a whole and therefore the show-cause notices were
issued so that the respective petitioners can clarify and satisfy that they
are having the requisite qualification of Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in
History and after giving them the opportunity, the decision has been
taken and that too after obtaining the Expert Committee’s opinion.
7. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, we see no
reason to interfere with the common judgments and order passed by the
19
learned Single Judge, which has been confirmed by the Division Bench
of the High Court. The candidature/selection of the respective
petitioners are rightly cancelled on the ground that they were not having
the requisite qualification for the post – Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in
History as per the advertisement No.21 of 2016 and 10 of 2017.
In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, all the
appeals fail and the same deserve to be dismissed and are accordingly
dismissed. However, in the facts and circumstances of the case, there
shall be no order as to costs.
………………………………….J.
 [M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………….J.
APRIL 13, 2022. [B.V. NAGARATHNA]
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