New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that courts should not interfere with the decisions made by panels of experts in the academic field vis-a-vis selection of
candidates, unless clear malafide is established in the process.
"Courts have a very limited role particularly when no malafide has been alleged against the experts constituting the selection committee. It would normally be prudent, wholesome and safe for the courts to leave the decisions to the academicians and experts," a Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and TS Thakur observed in a judgement.
The apex court passed the ruling while quashing a Karnataka High Court judgement which had set aside the appointments of two Readers in Sericulture in the Mysore
Even though the Expert Committee of the varsity had selected Dr Basavaiah and Dr D Manjunath in 1999 after due consideration, their appointment was set aside by the High
Court on the petition of a lecturer HL Ramesh.
Aggrieved, the Readers filed the appeal in the apex court and the university took the stance that the selection process was conducted in a transparent manner and the appointments were made purely on the basis of the qualifications prescribed
for the post.
It was submitted that the Committee consisting of five highly qualified and distinguished experts evaluated the qualification, experience and the published work of the
appellants, only after which the appointments were made.
"In our considered opinion, the Division Bench was not justified in sitting in appeal over the unanimous recommendations of the Expert Committee consisting of five
"The Expert Committee had in fact scrutinised the merits and de-merits of each candidate including qualification and the equivalent published work and its recommendations were
sent to the University for appointment which were accepted by the University," the Bench said.
According to the apex court, the experts had evaluated the qualification, experience and published work of the two candidates and thereafter recommendations for their
appointments were made.
"The Division Bench of the High Court ought not to have sat as an appellate court on the recommendations made by the country`s leading experts in the field of Sericulture.
"As a matter of principle, the courts should never make an endeavour to sit in appeal over the decisions of the experts. The courts must realise and appreciate its
constraints and limitations in academic matters," the Bench said in its judgement.