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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hindi Vidyapeeth Deoghar wherein it has been mentioned that any recognition given to such degrees including Sahityaalankar is only for the purpose of Hindi examination and not at par with graduation or equivalence = the validity of Sahityaalankar degree from the Hindi Vidyapeeth Deoghar and its equivalence with the graduation degree has been considered in detail by the Patna High Court in subsequent decisions filed by the State of Bihar in CWJC No.13343/2011 and several other connected matters. It is submitted that in the above batch matters, High Court has rejected the claim of the petitioners thereon that the Degree of Sahityaalankar is equivalent to graduation degree and the State of Bihar heavily relies upon the said judgment in CWJC No.13343/2011 and batch matters. It was also submitted that the letter dated 11.01.1991 should be read in consonance with earlier circular with respect to Hindi Vidyapeeth Deoghar wherein it has been mentioned that any recognition given to such degrees including Sahityaalankar is only for the purpose of Hindi examination and not at par with graduation or equivalence and in this regard reliance is placed upon Press Note dated 05.05.1988 issued by the Central Government. Having regard to the stand of the appellants and reliance placed upon order dated 25.11.2008 and the Press Note dated 05.05.1988 and the subsequent decision in CWJC 13343/2011 etc. and in the interest of justice without commenting on the merit of the case, we deem it necessary to remit the matter back to the High Court for consideration afresh.

                                         NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

            CIVIL APPEAL NO.4274 OF 2014

State of Bihar & Ors.                                        ..Appellants
                                   Versus
Sanjay Kumar
..Respondent
                                    WITH
                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4273 OF 2014

State of Bihar & Ors.                                      ...Appellants
                                   Versus
Azad Kumar Singh                                     ...Respondent

                               J U D G M E N T

      R. BANUMATHI, J.

            These appeals have been filed challenging  the  common  impugned
order dated 17.11.2009 passed by the Patna  High  Court  allowing  the  writ
petitions in CWJC Nos. 5129/2009 and 18039/2009  filed  by  the  respondents
herein and directing  the  appellant-State  of  Bihar  to  redo  the  entire
selection process for the post of Librarian  considering  the  case  of  the
respondents also and further restraining the State from issuing  appointment
letters to other selected candidates.
2.          Brief facts giving rise to these appeals are  as  under:-  State
of Bihar  framed  Bihar  District  Council,  Secondary  &  Higher  Secondary
Teacher (Employment & Service Conditions) Manual  2006  under  Article  243G
and Section 73 read with Section 146 of  Bihar  State  Panchayat  Raj   Act,
2006.  Rule 4(k) (vii) (a) of the said Rules was amended in 2008.  The  said
amendment  prescribes  an  essential  qualification  for   appointments   of
teachers and librarians in the schools  and  also  regulating  appointments.
As  per  amended  Rule  4  for  appointment  as   teachers/librarians,   the
candidates  must  possess  the  graduation  degree   from   any   recognized
university   with   minimum   45%   marks.    An    advertisement    bearing
No.11/employment1-13/91(Part-II)-1337  dated  25.08.2008   was   issued   by
Government  of  Bihar,  Human  Resources  and  Development  Department   for
appointment to the post of Librarian and Teacher in different schools  under
Zila  Parishad  and  Nagar  Nikaya  in  the  State  of  Bihar.    The   said
advertisement specifically referred to Recruitment Rules 2006  although  the
qualification or eligibility criteria was not specifically mentioned.
3.          Respondents herein applied for the  posts  of  Librarian.  After
the advertisement was issued,  the  Department  issued  order  No.  11/Ma.1-
01/2008  on  27.08.2008  containing  exhaustive   list   of   twenty   eight
colleges/universities/degrees  that  were  not  then   recognized   by   the
Government of Bihar for the purpose of the Recruitment Rules  2006  and  the
advertisement  dated  25.08.2008  and  those  degrees  were  not  valid  for
employment of  teachers.   The  Department  issued  another  Order  No.11/M-
44/2008-1968 (Annexure P/5) on  25.11.2008  declaring  that  the  degree  of
Sahityaalankar awarded by Deoghar Vidyapeeth is not  valid  for  employment.
The State Government issued a letter dated 27.07.2007 clarifying  the  stand
of the State regarding the degree of Sahityaalankar  awarded  by  Vidyapeeth
Deoghar is not equivalent  to  degree  of  graduation  for  the  purpose  of
appointment under Bihar Education District  Council,  Secondary  and  Higher
Secondary Teachers (Employment/  Services)  Rules  2006.  The  letter  dated
27.07.2007 was subject matter of challenge in  Writ  Petition  No.  15237/07
titled Pramod Paswan vs. State of Bihar and in the said Writ  Petition,  the
State was directed to take  a  fresh  decision  on  the  same.    The  State
Government examined the matter and vide  Memo  No.  11/M-44/2008-1968  dated
25.11.2008, it was declared that the degree  of  Sahityaalankar  awarded  by
Deoghar  Vidyapeeth  is  not  valid  for  employment.  On   13.12.2008,  the
Government of Bihar, Human Resources Development Department,  issued  letter
No.11/Na.1-9/2008-2053 wherein  inter–alia  it  was  specifically  mentioned
that the degree of Sahityaalankar awarded by Deoghar  Vidyapeeth  cannot  be
attached to merit  list of candidates.
4.          Pursuant to the said advertisement, respondents applied for  the
post of Librarian.  The respondents possessed the degree  of  Sahityaalankar
awarded by Deoghar  Vidyapeeth.   Challenging  the  validity,  legality  and
correctness of the amendment of Rule  4(k)  (vii)  (a)  of  the  Recruitment
Rules 2006 as amended in 2008, respondents filed two writ petitions  bearing
Nos.5129/2009 and 18039/2009. The  Patna  High  Court  vide  impugned  order
dated 17.11.2009  allowed  the  writ  petitions  filed  by  the  respondents
directing the State of Bihar to redo the entire selection process  as  above
mentioned.   Aggrieved by the same, State of Bihar has filed  these  appeals
assailing the impugned order.
5.          Mr. Gopal Singh, learned counsel for  the  appellants  submitted
that State of Bihar has issued order dated  27.08.2008  containing  list  of
twenty eight institutions which were not recognized  under  the  recruitment
rules. It was submitted that the State has considered the matter at  several
occasions and has decided not to grant  benefits  to  un-recognized  degrees
and accordingly the degree of Sahityaalankar awarded by  Deoghar  Vidyapeeth
is  not  equivalent  to  graduation  degree  and  the  High  Court  has  not
considered the matter in the  light  of  order  dated  25.11.2008  (Annexure
P/5).
6.          Per contra, Mr. N. Rai  and  Mr.  S.B.  Sanyal,  learned  Senior
Counsel for the respondents contended  that  the  degree  of  Sahityaalankar
makes the person eligible for  appearing  in  the  competitive  examinations
conducted by the Bihar Public Service Commission and it would  be  arbitrary
to say that  degree of Sahityalankar does not make a person eligible as  per
 Bihar District Council, Secondary & Higher Secondary  Teacher   (Employment
&  Service Conditions) Manual 2006 as  amended  in  2008  and  the  same  is
violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.
7.          We have considered the rival contentions  of  both  the  parties
and perused the material on record.
8.          The issue involved  in  these  appeals  is  concerned  with  the
interpretation of provisions in Rule 4  (k)  (vii)  (a)  of  Bihar  District
Council,  Secondary  &  Higher  Secondary  Teacher  (Employment  &   Service
Conditions) Manual 2006 as  amended  in  2008.   As  noticed  earlier,  Rule
4(k)(vii)(a) prescribes that  the  candidate  must  have  passed  graduation
examination with minimum 45% marks from any recognized  university.   It  is
the contention of  the  State  that  the  respondents  do  not  fulfill  the
eligibility criteria  as  they  possessed  graduation  degree  from    Hindi
Vidyapeeth Deoghar which is not a recognized university.  As noticed  above,
as per the direction of the Patna High  Court  in  CWJC  No.15237/2007,  the
State of Bihar examined the matter and by an  order  dated  25.11.2008  held
that degree of Sahityaalankar cannot be a valid degree  for  appointment  as
teacher.  Para 6 of the said order reads as under:-
      “In  Bihar  District  Council/Urban  Body  Secondary/Higher  Secondary
(Employment and Service Conditions) Manual, 2006, there is no  provision  to
employing on any equivalent  degree.   Besides  it,  for  employment,  after
deciding the all phases, the degree of  “Sahityaalankar”  given  by  Deoghar
Vidyapeeth and  other  many  degrees  have  not  been  decided  recognized.”
Mainly, the holder of  Sahityaalankar Degree appear only  at  exam  of  some
Sahitya papers while general B.A.  pass  the  exam  of  graduation  in  many
papers, which is more useful for education, due to this  reason  the  degree
of Sahityaalankar from Deoghar  Vidyapeeth is not valid for employment.”

Contention of the appellants is that pursuant to the above, the  State  sent
instructions to all the districts  vide  Order  dated  13.12.2008  directing
them to have appointment of  teachers  and  librarians  in  accordance  with
Recruitment Rules 2006 as amended in 2008  and  notification  governing  the
validity of  degrees.
9.          On behalf of  the  State,  it  is  further  submitted  that  the
validity of Sahityaalankar degree from the Hindi Vidyapeeth Deoghar and  its
equivalence with the graduation degree has been considered in detail by  the
Patna High Court in subsequent decisions filed by  the  State  of  Bihar  in
CWJC No.13343/2011 and several other  connected  matters.  It  is  submitted
that in the above batch matters, High Court has rejected the  claim  of  the
petitioners thereon that the  Degree  of  Sahityaalankar  is  equivalent  to
graduation degree and the State  of  Bihar  heavily  relies  upon  the  said
judgment in CWJC No.13343/2011 and batch matters.   It  was  also  submitted
that the letter dated 11.01.1991 should be read in consonance  with  earlier
circular with respect to  Hindi  Vidyapeeth  Deoghar  wherein  it  has  been
mentioned  that  any   recognition   given   to   such   degrees   including
Sahityaalankar is only for the purpose of Hindi examination and not  at  par
with graduation or equivalence and in this regard reliance  is  placed  upon
Press Note dated 05.05.1988 issued by the Central Government.
10.         Having regard to  the  stand  of  the  appellants  and  reliance
placed upon order dated 25.11.2008 and the Press Note dated  05.05.1988  and
the subsequent decision in CWJC 13343/2011  etc.  and  in  the  interest  of
justice without commenting on the merit of the case, we  deem  it  necessary
to remit the matter back to the High Court for consideration afresh.
11.         In the light of the aforesaid discussion, the impugned order  is
set aside and the same is remitted back to the High Court for  consideration
of the matter afresh after affording  sufficient  opportunity  to  both  the
parties.    Liberty   granted   to   the   parties   to   file    additional
documents/pleadings. We request the High Court to dispose of the  matter  as
expeditiously  as  possible.   The  appeals  are  disposed  of  accordingly.
Consequently, intervention application stands disposed of  granting  liberty
to the interveners to approach the High Court in accordance with  law.    In
the facts and circumstances of the case, we make no order as to costs.

                                     ….…………………..CJI.
        (T.S. THAKUR)



                               .….……………………..J.
                                                                    (R.
BANUMATHI)
New Delhi;
January  06, 2016

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