Petitioner can’t pursue parallel petitions at same time: DB

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STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: A Division Bench of Jammu & Kashmir High Court Jammu Wing comprising Chief Justice (A) Rajesh Bindal and Justice Javed Iqbal Wani held that petitioner cannot pursue instant parallel petition at same time.
In a petition filed by Mohammad Adnan Khan seeking quashment and setting aside order dated July 8, 2020 passed by Central Administrative Tribunal Jammu in case titled Mohammad Adnan Khan Vs Union Territory of J&K and others (O.A. No.061/00137/2020) and may also quashing Notification No. PSC/Exam/CCE(M)-18/2019 dated August 7, 2020, by issuance of writ of certiorari and also seeking direction to the respondents to allow petitioner to participate in selection process being belonging to Scheduled Tribe category and conducting Personality Test/ Viva voce of petitioner commencing from August 20, 2020.
A Division Bench Comprising Chief Justice (A) Rajesh Bindal and Justice Javed Iqbal Wani observed that factual matrix of the petition as propounded by the petitioner is that petitioner submitted his application form for Combined Competitive (Preliminary) Examination 2018, Junior Scale of J&K Administrative Services, J&K Police (Gazetted) Service and J&K Accounts (Gazetted) Service (hereinafter for short ‘KAS’) in response to an advertisement notice bearing No. PSC/Exam/2018/38 dated May 25, 2018. The petitioner is applicant under Schedule Tribe Category, as 70 vacancies in aforesaid category are stated to have been notified in the aforesaid notice.
The Division Bench after perusal of the petition and record appended therewith, revealed that the petitioner is aggrieved of order dated July 8, 2020 passed by the Tribunal whereby the application for interim relief of the petitioner has been rejected and he is also aggrieved of notification dated August 7, 2020 issued by the PSC, where under candidates who qualified written examination have been called for personality test/ Viva-voce test.
DB further observed that indisputably, the record tends to show that the petitioner being a Scheduled Tribe candidate applied for selection/ appointment to Junior Scale of J&K Administrative Service advertised in 2018 i.e., before coming into being of the 2019 Act but failed to make the grade in the main examinations held prior to coming into being of 2019 Act and that the petitioner herein maintained his claims before the Tribunal in his petition viz-a-viz the candidates of Union Territory of Ladakh, who too had applied for selection/ appointment to Junior Scale of J&K Administrative Service prior to the coming into being of 2019 Act and had qualified aforesaid main examination. All the said issues are pending adjudication and final determination before the Tribunal in the petition filed by the petitioner.
The first relief sought in petition relates to the order dated 08.07.2020 passed by the Tribunal where under the application for interim relief of the petitioner has been dismissed. The petitioner, while throwing challenge to the order, in the instant petition in essence seeks this court to rule qua the discretion exercised by the Tribunal and that too under extra-ordinary writ jurisdiction. It is settled legal position that granting or refusing temporary injunction rests on sound exercise of discretion and such exercise of discretion is not normally interfered with by the appellate court. Under Article 226, the High Court does not sit or act as an appellate authority over the actions of the subordinate authorities or Tribunals as only judicial review is permissible. The jurisdiction under Article 226 is discretionary in nature and character. As such, in view of above exercise of extraordinary jurisdiction by this court qua order dated July 8, 2020 is held not warranted as no illegality is found therein, Division Bench observed.
The DB further observed that even otherwise also the petitioner is not entitled to the relief sought in instant petition on pleaded premise. The petitioner admittedly failed to qualify KAS main examinations which being part of the process of selection commenced by respondent PSC prior to coming into being of the 2019 Act and that the eligibility of the candidates including the petitioner herein as also the candidates of Union Territory of Ladakh was determined by PSC prior to the coming into being of the 2019 Act. The grievance projected by the petitioner qua the candidates of Union Territory of Ladakh relates to the period post coming into force of the 2019 Act, which issue indisputably is pending adjudication before the Tribunal. Eligibility has to be seen on the date of issue of advertisement or the date specified therein.
DB further observed that the second relief as is prayed by the petitioner in the instant petition relates to notification dated August 7, 2020 issued by PSC where under candidates, who passed KAS main examination, came to be called for personality test/ Viva-voce and the petitioner as such also seeks a direction for allowing him to appear in the aforesaid test. DB further said that the aforesaid second relief claimed by the petitioner rests upon the determination/ adjudication of the issues raised in the petition filed by the petitioner which is pending disposal before the Tribunal. The petitioner in law, in presence of the pendency of the aforesaid proceedings before the Tribunal cannot pursue the instant parallel petition at same time.
Division Bench observed that the petition in hand is held to be grossly misconceived and entails dismissal and is, accordingly, dismissed.

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