Learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant would submit that the Division Bench of the High Court committed a serious error in passing the impugned judgment insofar as it failed to take into consideration the importance of holding a physical test before preparation of the select list. The learned counsel urged that arbitrariness on the part of the Selection Committee is apparent from the fact that the order of holding tests was pushed to the background. It was furthermore submitted that the Division Bench of the High Court did not assign sufficient and cogent reasons for interfering with the well considered judgment of the learned Single Judge and proceeded to modify the same without any application of mind. Our Attention was moreover drawn to the fact that the purported reasons for modification, which were enumerated in paragraph 12 of the impugned judgment, really contain the statement of facts and thus the same is wholly unsustainable.
Mr. M.P Sharma learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the private respondents, on the other hand, would contend that the appellant, in the facts and circumstances of the case, must be held to be estopped and precluded form raising any contention with regard to the validity or otherwise of the procedure for selection adopted by the Selection Committee as he had participated in the Selection process without any demur whatsoever. It is stated that pursuant thereto and in furtherance thereof only the said respondent had been appointed and had been working since then. Our attention was furthermore drawn to the fact that against the order of the learned Single Judge, a writ appeal had been filed by him, which is pending. Indisputably in the advertisement, the candidates were required not only to qualify in the written test but also the physical ability test. A plain reading of the advertisement clearly goes to show that the interview was to be conducted only after holding of the said two tests. In tune with the said requirements only, the candidates were asked to appear in the written test on 23.5.1999 and in the physical test on 25.5.1999. There cannot, however, be any doubt whatsoever that a selection Committee n a given situation, may lay down a procedure for the purpose of short listing the candidates but that does not mean that for the said purpose, the order of holding a requisite test would be changed, In terms of a decision, which was taken on 4.4.2000, the Selection Committee thought to take interview prior to holding of the physical ability test. Physical ability test keeping in view the nature of the job required to be performed by the candidates was an extremely important one.
Passing in the physical ability test is a sine qua non for selection of the candidates in the post of Sub-Inspector of Police. It was indeed a competitive test and the merit list should have been prepared not only on the basis of the written test and interview but also the physical ability test.
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