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There is No Harm in Doing Away With Minimum Marks In Interview: Karnataka HC

Team SoOLEGAL 14 Feb 2019 3:00pm

There is No Harm in Doing Away With Minimum Marks In  Interview: Karnataka HC

Recently it was advised by the Justice R. Devdas, a clause must be stipulated if the selection Committee is of the opinion that a candidate is not suitable for appointment, instead of minimum marks. If the candidate is found too young, the Committee could mark the candidate as 'failed' or 'try again'.

Marks could be awarded only for the suitable candidates in the interview for further consideration, in terms of the other provisions, the judge said. A writ petition filed by Dhanesh Mugali was being considered by the court and those who were not included in the select list for the post of District judges because minimum marks was not obtained by them as prescribed in the interview/viva-voce. The writ petition was filed challenging prescription of minimum marks in the recruitment Notification.

The court stated that: "No doubt, in Ramesh Kumar's case, the Apex Court had held that in All India Judges' Association (3) case, the Apex Court had accepted Justice Shetty Commission's report that there should not be a stipulation on minimum marks to be obtained in interview and as a consequence, the directions ought to have been given effect to. But the fact remains that many of the High Courts including the High Court of Karnataka continued to maintain the requirement of minimum marks to be obtained in interview."

It was also observed by the court that in the case of Salam Samarjeet Singh, it was held by the apex court that All India Judges' Association (3) case is sub silentio on the recommendation of Shetty Commission as to "no cut-off marks for viva-voce. The court further added by Referring to the judgment in case of Subash Chander Marwah that even if the minimum marks are not prescribed for interview, the selection committee has the authorization to make a perspective about the suitability or unsuitability of a candidate to be appointed as a Judge. The bench dismissed the writ petition and further added that:

"In the case on hand, the prescription of minimum marks in the interview was stipulated in the recruitment Notification. No prejudice is caused to the petitioners. Having regard to the minimum marks prescribed, the selection Committee has assessed the candidates and awarded lesser than the minimum marks prescribed, in respect of the petitioners. There is a definite meaning behind the marks awarded to the petitioners. We cannot disregard the combined and considered opinion of the members of the selection committee, who are none other than the Hon'ble Judges of this Court. If the Committee is of the opinion that a candidate is unsuitable to be appointed as a Judge, the decision of the Committee requires to be respected."

It was further mentioned by the court that assessment and considered opinion of the selection Committee must be respected because they only had the benefit of personally interviewing the candidates and assessing the performance and personality of the candidates. The court suggested in this context:

"This Court deems it fit to volunteer a suggestion as regards the contentious issue of fixation of minimum marks in the interview. There is no harm in doing away with the minimum marks in interview, provided, a clause could be stipulated that if the selection Committee is of the opinion that a candidate is not suitable for appointment, the Committee could mark the candidate as 'failed' or 'try again', where the candidate is found too young. Marks could be awarded in the interview only for 'suitable' candidates for further consideration, in terms of the other provisions."

Tagged: Justice R. Devdas   Karnataka High Court   judiciary   interview  
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