At, Central Administrative Tribunal Chandigarh Bench
By, THE HONOURABLE MRS. RAJWANT SANDHU
By, MEMBER (A) & THE HONOURABLE DR. BRAHM A. AGRAWAL
By, MEMBER (J)
For the Petitioner: R.S. Mahal, proxy counsel for R.S. Bains, Advocates. For the Respondents: Ram Lal Gupta, Advocate.
Rajwant Sandhu, Member(A).
1. This OA has been filed under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, seeking the following relief:-
'(i) Quash the impugned order/notice dated 10.09.2012 (Annexure A-1) of termination of services under Rule 8(1) of GDS (Conduct & Engagement) Rules, 2011 issued to the applicant stating therein that his services as GDSBPM Raisal in account with Bhadson S.O. shall stand terminated with effect from the date of expiry of a period of one month from the date on which the notice is served on or, as the case may be, tendered to him, without assigning any reason and without hearing the applicant and without supplying him the documents mentioned in notice dated 24.08.2012 (Annexure A-2) to enable him to file reply despite moving application dated 03.09.2012 (Annexure A-3) in this regard.
(ii) Quash the office note dated 10.09.2012 (Annexure A-4) whereby the respondent has dismissed the representation/plea/application dated 03.09.2012 (Annexure A-3) since the impugned order/notice dated 10.09.2012 (Annexure A-1) and the impugned office note dated 10.09.2012 (Annexure A-4) are in violation of principles of natural justice.
(iii) Quash Rule 8 of the GDS (Conduct and Employment) Rules (Annexure A-17) which gives a complete handle to the authorities to terminate the services of GDS (BPM) forthwith in as much as it does not prescribe giving of opportunity of hearing or show cause notice or even giving of reasons for an order passed under Rule 8 to be sustainable or opportunity of filing appeal under Rule 13 of the GDS (Conduct and Employment) rules and as the same is violative of provisions of Article 21 and 311 of the Constitution of India and the law settled by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and violative of principle of audi alterm partem/principles of natural justice.'
2. Averment has been made in the OA that the applicant is a matriculate from Council of Secondary Education Mohali as per mark sheet dated 29.06.2010 (Annexure A-5). The applicant was selected on merit against the vacant posts of Gramin Dak Sewak which come under Patiala H.O. He was issued appointment as Gramin Dak Sewak Branch Postmaster, Roorkee vide order dated 05.08.2011, but later, on his own request, he was given appointment as GDS (BPM) Raisal, Patiala.
3. It is averred that respondents issued order dated 12.07.2012 served to the applicant on 16.07.2012 alleged to be in pursuance of proviso to rule 8 of GDS (Conduct & Engagement) Rules, 2011, terminating the service of the applicant as GDSBPM, Raisal in account with Bhason SO forthwith and directed that he would be entitled to claim a sum equivalent to the amount of his basic allowance plus dearness allowance for the period of notice at the same rate at which he was drawing them immediately before the termination (Annexure A-8). The applicant filed OA No. 741/PB/2012 before this Tribunal praying for quashing the order dated 12.07.2012 and vide order dated 18.07.2012, interim relief was granted to the applicant and implementation of the order dated 12.7.2012 was stayed (Annexure A-9). Vide order dated 7.8.2012 (Annexure A-10), OA. 741/PB/2012 was allowed and the order dated 12.7.2012 was quashed.
4. It is further stated that on 24.8.2012, the respondents issued notice for pre-decisional hearing (Annexure A-2) to the applicant in pursuance of the order dated 07.08.2012 passed by this Tribunal and thereafter, the respondents passed the impugned order/notice dated 10.09.2012 (Annexure A-1) of termination of services under Rule 8(1) of GDS (Conduct & Engagement) Rules, 2011 to the applicant stating therein that his services shall stand terminated w.e.f. the date of expiry of a period of one month from the date on which the notice is served on or, as the case may be, tendered to him and also passed the impugned office note dated 10.09.2012 (Annexure A-4) whereby the respondent has dismissed the representation/plea/application dated 03.09.2012 filed by the applicant whereby he has sought the copies of documents to enable him to file reply to the notice dated 24.08.2012. Hence this OA.
5. In the written statement filed on behalf of the respondents the facts of the matter have not been disputed. It has further been stated that the applicant was given a pre-decisional hearing on 27.8.2012 and he was apprised that the name of Council of Secondary Education, SAS Nagar Mohali does not find place in the list of Members of COBSE (Annexure R-1). The only point against the provisional engagement of the applicant was that he did not possess the educational qualification for the post of GDSBPM from a recognized Board of School Education. State of Gujarat & Ors. Vs. Arvind Kumar Tiwari & Anr. (Civil Appeal No. 6468 of 2012) has been cited in this regard wherein it has been held that 'A person who does not possess the requisite qualification cannot even apply for recruitment for the reason that his appointment would be contrary to the statutory rules is, and would therefore, be void in law. Lacking eligibility for the post cannot be cured at any stage and appointing such a person would amount to serious illegality and not mere irregularity. Such a person cannot approach the Court for any relief for the reason that he does not have a right which can be enforced through court.'
6. Besides, Secondary School Education Department, Government of Punjab through Public Notice published in 'Daily Ajit' dated 17.01.2012 has informed the General Public that Council of Secondary Education, SAS Nagar Mohali is not an Institution of Education Department and Government of Punjab has not given any kind of recognition to this Institution. No recognition is available for the courses Matric/Plus 2 or any other Diploma/Degree being given by the said Institution and Certificates/Degrees granted by the said Council are valid for admissions in any Degree or Diploma courses in Government or Semi Government, Educational institutions or other institution or for job purposes. Persons getting admission in this Institution or School being run under this Institution will be personally responsible. The public notice was issued by the Punjab Government in pursuance of orders of the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court orders dated 21.11.2011 and 15.12.2011 (Annexure R-2).
7. Rejoinder has not been filed on behalf of the applicant.
8. MA. 060/00435/2015 was filed on 16.4.2015 under Rule 8(3) under the Central Administrative Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1987 praying for vacation of stay order dated 10.10.2012 vide which this Tribunal stayed the operation of impugned termination order in respect of the applicant. It has been stated therein that the Council of Boards of Secondary Education, New Delhi (COBSE) had clarified in letter dated 25.6.2012 that the Council of Secondary Education Mohali has no authenticity and recognition.
9. Reply to the aforesaid MA has been filed on behalf of the applicant wherein it has been stated that the Institution has filed petitions which are presently pending in Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh and in Supreme Court of India for the approval of its recognition. Moreover, the important fact to consider is that the said institution has also filed suit for declaration in the court of Civil Judge (SD), Mohali to the effect that the Council of Secondary Education is a private and non-statutory organization/society and is not under any legal obligation to have membership of COBSE for the purpose of recognition of educational certificates issued to various students against various streams/courses and levels/classes and for the purposes of ascertaining the equivalency of educational certificates issued by the Council of Secondary Education Society
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or any activity appurtenant to any education course. In the present suit, notice has been issued to the COBSE institution for 20.05.2015 for further case perusal. The copy of the civil suit dated 16.4.2015 is attached as Annexure R-1. 10. Arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the parties were heard when they reiterated the content of the OA, reply to MA. 435/15 and the written statement respectively.11. We have given our thoughtful consideration to the matter. From the material on record, it is quite clear that the applicant did not possess the qualification of matriculation from a recognized Board/Institution. Hence, his selection and appointment as GDS was vitiated on this account. Therefore, we are of the view that there is no merit in this OA and the same is rejected. MA No. 060/00435/2015 also stands disposed of accordingly. No costs.