1. By way of the instant appeal, the appellant has assailed an order dated 28th February, 2019 dismissing SWP No.1570/2016, whereby the appellant has made the following prayers:
"(i) Writ, order or direction in the nature of Writ of certiorari quashing Notification No. 08-PSC (DR-S) of 2019 dated 15.03.2016 (Annexure-D) whereby the respondent No. 2 has declined to make recommendations of the candidate for selection to the post of Works Manager in the Transport Department advertised vide Advertisement Notification No. 25- PSC (DR-P) of 2013 dated 31.12.2013 (Annexure-A);
(ii) Writ, order or direction in the nature of Writ of Mandamus commanding the respondent No. 2 to immediately and forthwith recommend the name of the petitioner for appointment against the post of Works Manager in the Transport Department advertised vide vide Advertisement Notification No. 25-PSC (DR-P) of 2013 dated 31.12.2013 (Annexure-A) being the only candidate in the reserved category having obtained more than the prescribed minimum percentage of 40% out of total weight-age points earmarked for assessment in terms of Rule Sr. No. 4 51(v) of the J&K Public Service Commission (Business and Procedure) Rule, 1980 and;
(iii) Writ, order or direction in the nature of Writ of Mandamus commanding upon the respondent no. 1 to act upon the recommendations to be made by the Respondent no. 2 and issue formal order of appointment of the petitioner against the post of Works Manager in the Transport department notified vide Advertisement Notification No. 25-OSC (DR-P) of 2013 dated 31.12.2013 (Annexure-A)."
2. The facts of the case giving rise to the extent necessary for adjudication of the present appeal are noted hereafter:
(i) The Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission had issued an Advertisement Notification dated 31st December, 2013 inviting applications for one post of Works Manager in the Transport department in the open merit category. It is an admitted position that no post was advertised in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) Category.
(ii) The selection of the candidates to be short listed for interview was to be effected in accordance with Rule 51 of the Jammu and Kashmir, Public Service Commission (Business & Procedure) Rules, 1980 (for short the "Rules"). For purposes of expediency, Rule 51 (v) which is relevant, is extracted hereunder:
"51(v) For determination of the suitability of candidates for appointment, the candidates from open category shall be required to score a minimum of 50% and those belonging to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe and other Backward Classes and Physically Challenged Persons shall have to obtain a minimum of 40% out of total weight-age points earmarked for assessment in the aforesaid rule."
(iii) The facts on record also show that none of the candidates secured the prescribed 50% of the minimum, as per the aforesaid Rules. The highest score secured by a candidate was 48.88.
3. Upon completion of the selection process, the merit list which was prepared, was to the following effect:
|S.No.||Name of the candidate||Merit position|
|2||Naveed Ahmad Bhat||47.78|
Thus, the appellant featured at serial no. 3 in the merit list.
4. For the reason that none of the candidates had secured 50% as required under Rule 51(v), the respondents held that none of the candidates was eligible for appointment.
5. This rejection became subject matter of challenge by way of SWP No. 1570/2016. The appellant assailed the rejection of his merit for the reason that he belongs to Scheduled Tribe category, therefore, he was required to secure only 40% of the total weight-age earmarked for assessment, as he was a ST category candidate.
6. The learned Single Judge considered the claim of the writ petitioner and dismissed the writ petition by way of the judgment dated 28th February, 2019, which has been questioned before us.
7. We have heard Mr. Rahul Pant, Advocate for the appellant and Mr. F. A. Natnoo, learned AAG for the respondent No. 2.
8. The learned Single Judge has held that by way of the Advertisement Notification dated 31st December, 2013, the respondents had advertised a single post in the open category. It has been further held that the appellant had applied for appointment to such post and could not claim special treatment as a ST category. It has also been observed that the appellant has to be judged purely on standards fixed for judging the candidates in the open merit category.
9. In our view, these findings cannot be assailed.
10. The Rule 51(v) prescribes the relaxed standard of 40% only in the case of reserved category candidates. On a meaningful constructi
on of Rule 51(v), it has to be held that the relaxed standards would apply, if consideration for selection process was being undertaken in respect of a post reserved for the reserved category and so advertised. 11. Any other interpretation of Rule 51(v) would lead to an incongruous situation and perhaps result in only reserved category candidates being eligible even though consideration was being effected for open merit appointment in the general category. 12. For all these reasons, we find no merit in this appeal. The appeal and application are accordingly dismissed.