Tarlok Singh Chauhan, J.
"An unemployed existence is a worse negation of life than death itself."
2. This is so stated by the brilliant Spanish Philosopher Mr. Jose Ortega Y Gasset and holds good even today.
3. Unemployment continues to be a daunting problem and, therefore, it is required to be ensured that the government or public bodies do not deny employment on flimsy ground or by adopting any hyper-technical approach.
4. Respondent No.2 i.e. Director General of Police, Himachal Pradesh, on 3.3.2019 advertised 720 posts for Constables (Male), 130 for Constable (Drivers) and 213 for Constables (Female). Number of vacancies allotted to District Bilaspur under general category was 40. The petitioner applied for the post of Constable by filling in on-line application form. The petitioner was accordingly issued Roll Number and admit card and was asked to appear in physical efficiency and written test, which he qualified. Thereafter, he was called for personality test vide letter dated 26.10.2019. The final results of the selection were declared and against the posts meant for general category, i.e. 40, only 12 constables were recruited.
5. The grievance of the petitioner is that he has not been allotted marks for NCC (B) certificate that was submitted by him and was thereby deprived of 2 additional marks, which if counted, would have resulted in the selection of the petitioner.
6. The respondents have not disputed any of the contentions raised by the petitioner and the sole ground for not considering NCC (B) certificate is that the same was submitted after the last date of submission of on-line application form, i.e. 30.4.2019 in midnight.
7. Now, therefore, the moot question is whether NCC (B) certificate was required to be submitted before cut off date.
8. It is not in dispute that the petitioner had produced NCC (B) certificate on the date of interview-cum-personality test, but the same did not bear any date. However, the same was later on verified and it was found to be genuine, but issued only on 27.8.2019 i.e. after last date of submission of on-line application from i.e. 30.4.2019.
9. It is the specific case of the petitioner that only after he qualified the physical standard and written test held on 8.9.2019 that he was called for personality test vide letter dated 26.10.2019 (Annexure P-7), whereby it was for the first time that he was informed that candidates, who possess NCC certificates will be given a weightage of 3 marks for NCC (C) certificate and 2 additional marks for NCC (B) certificate in personality-cum-suitability test and earlier to that, at no stage was the petitioner ever asked to submit the NCC certificate, whether on-line or offline.
10. The respondents have not been able to rebut or controvert the allegation made by the petitioner.
11. It is not in dispute that the NCC certificate submitted by the petitioner was genuine and, therefore, we see no reason why the same should not have been considered only on account of the fact that the same did not bear any date. The date on the certificate was to be mentioned by the issuing authority over which the petitioner had no control.
12. Now, adverting to the contention of the respondents that NCC certificate had not been submitted on-line and had been procured only in the month of August 2019.
13. The respondents have framed the Rules in exercise of the powers conferred by section 46 read with Section 2 of the Police Act, 1861 and sub-section (4) of Section 144 of the Himachal Pradesh Police Act, 2007(17 of 2007). Appendix 12.12- A provides for procedure for recruitment of Constables in the H.P. Police Department.
14. Rule 6 provides for submission of application and reads as under:-
6.1 Application for recruitment shall be submitted by the applicants on the prescribed proforma to the district Superintendent of Police concerned. An application will be considered only in respect of vacancies of the District in which the applicant is ordinarily resident according to the Bonafide Himachali Certificate obtained by the candidate. This may be noted that no certificates or copies of certificates are to be attached with the application. Instead every applicant will sign a declaration on the application form itself undertaking that the information furnished by him in the Application Form is true and correct. The actual information of original certificates will be done only in respect of candidates who are called for 'Personality Test' (Refer Rule-12) and any applicant having made an incorrect or false declaration shall stand disqualified automatically at that stage. A candidate shall only be considered against the district shown as his residence in the Bonafide Himachali Certificate. A cut off date to declare one's category to avail reservation will be provided in the Recruitment Notice/Advertisement and after that no change of category will be entertained.
15. Rule 6.1 clearly suggests that no certificates or copies of certificates are to be attached with the application. Instead every applicant will sign a declaration on the application form itself undertaking that the information furnished by him in the application form is true and correct. Thus, there was no occasion for the petitioner to have submitted NCC(B) certificate at any stage prior to holding of personality test.
16. Moreover, we do not find any provision made in the application form for submitting the NCC certificate on-line with application form and as regards the late submission of NCC certificate, it was the respondents themselves, who vide letter dated 26.10.2019 (Annexure P-7) had asked the petitioner to submit the certificate, as would be evident from the relevant portion of call letter, which is reproduced here-in-below:- The personality test shall be consisting of 15 marks. Candidates will be called for Personality-cum-Suitability test from amongst those who have qualified in the ratio of 1:3 persons for each Posts. Before admitting a qualified candidate to the Personality-cum-Suitability test all necessary and relevant documents in original shall have to be produced by the candidate along with a set of photocopies. Only after the documents are duly scrutinized and found in order, a candidate shall be allowed to appear for Personality-cum-Suitability test. Failure to submit original or any document not found in order as required shall result in immediate disqualification of the candidate. Candidates, who possess NCC certificates will be given a weightage of 03 additional marks for NCC (C) certificate and 02 additional marks for NCC (B) certificate in Personality-cum-Suitability Test. A candidate having both these certificate will be given marks only for NCC (C) certificate.
17. We have noticed from the call letter that it did not specify that the NCC certificate issued subsequent to the date of receipt of application form would not be considered and looked into. Therefore, in the given circumstances, the respondents were bound to consider the NCC certificate submitted by the petitioner.
18. No doubt, a candidate seeking appointment pursuant to any advertisement is required to scrupulously and carefully go through the instructions and follow the same, but any minor or insignificant lapse, which could be rectified or remedi
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ed before the date of final selection, in such like cases, should not prove fatal to the extent of denying appointment to the meritorious candidate, who otherwise has qualified all the requisite tests i.e. physical standard and written test. 19. In the above circumstances, while allowing the present petition, we direct the respondents to consider NCC (B) certificate submitted by the petitioner and in case the petitioner makes a grade in the seniority list, then he be appointed and given same and similar benefit as has been given to the appointees pursuant to recruitment notice, Annexure P-3 dated 3.3.2019. Needful be done within four weeks from today. 20. The petition stands disposed of, in the aforesaid terms, so also the pending application(s), if any, leaving the parties to bear their own costs.