Srinagar, Mar 22: The J&K High Court on Monday dismissed petitions challenging Jammu and Kashmir Bank’s fresh notification for filling up of 350 probationary officers and 1500 banking associates’ vacancies.
The petitions were filed by at least 288 aspiring candidates who had participated in the selection process pursuant to a notification on 6 October 2018 and had challenged the bank’s 15th April 2020 announcement cancelling the whole selection process.
Subsequently, the bank had issued an advertisement notice (no. JKB/HR-Rectt-2020-27 & 28) on 1 January 2020, inviting applications from the desirous candidates for the posts of Probationary Officers and Banking Associates.
“It needs no reiteration that since the selection process had not been completed, the petitioners have no right to dispute the decision of the respondents to go for a denovo exercise,” a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said.
“It is beaten law of the land that a job aspirant does not have any right to seek appointment even if his name figures in the select list. In the present case, however, the selection process had not even culminated; therefore, the challenge laid to the impugned action of the respondents (J&K Bank) is impermissible,” the court said, adding, “The impugned cancellation, therefore, is held to have had the reasonableness attached with it and it was not arbitrary.”
Subsequently, the court dismissed the petitions being “without any merit.”
Interim direction, if any, shall stand vacated. The respondents shall proceed ahead with the fresh selection process initiated in terms of the impugned advertisement notice,” the court added.
The petitioners in their plea had said that no reasons were disclosed by the Bank while issuing the 15th April 2020 notification, cancelling the selection process conducted for the posts of Probationary Officers and Banking Associates. They had submitted that the failure of bank to give reasons in support of its decision amounts to denial of justice.
“The agency which conducted the online examination in question has a reputed track record; therefore, the cancellation of the process does not appear to be bonafide and it being so the impugned decision of cancelling the selection process is arbitrary and illegal, therefore, deserves to be declared as ultra-vires of the Constitution,” they had prayed.
The petitioners had said that a “limited right of fair consideration is available to a candidate who participates in the selection process which cannot be taken away by arbitrary means and unreasonably.”