New Delhi: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has quashed an ENT surgeon's selection to AIIMS under orthopaedically handicapped category despite scoring less than the qualifying marks, saying such relaxation was not mentioned while inviting applications.
"Rules of the game cannot be changed, once the game is started" the Tribunal said while setting aside the selection of Mohammad Mubashshirul Haq who had been selected despite scoring less than the cut-off marks as he was orthopaedically handicapped (OPH)."
"The respondents (AIIMS) have not notified any relaxed standards of suitability for the OPH candidates vide their notification (inviting applications) or any time thereafter to the knowledge of all competing persons.
"... the third respondent's (Haq) selection done not on his merit but only on basis of relaxed standard of suitability adopted behind the back of the applicant is liable to be set aside," the bench comprising members Ramesh Chandra Panda and Ajay Kumar said and also directed AIIMS to pay Rs 5,000 cost to the applicant, Dillip Kumar Samal.
The Tribunal while quashing Haq's selection directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to select Samal to the post of senior ENT resident if he is otherwise qualified. The order came on the plea of Samal challenging the selection of Haq on the ground that the same was "illegal, arbitrary and violative of the constitutional guarantees conferred on him".
He had alleged that while he had scored more than Haq in the entrance test, he was not selected but was kept in the waiting list, though both belonged to OBC category.
AIIMS in its defence had contended that there was no illegality or infirmity in its decision to call Haq for the interview or in selecting him for the post of senior resident in the ENT department under the OBC/OPH category. It said that Haq had been called for the interview and finally selected in compliance of the benefits conferred on OPH candidates under the relevant Act and rules.
The Tribunal, however, rejected the contention saying AIIMS "cannot be permitted to act arbitrarily" to deny another persons' right of proper and valid treatment in the matter of employment.