Madurai: Madras High Court on Saturday set aside the appointment of a person as Deputy Registrar of Alagappa University, saying the selection was based only on interview marks which was against a Supreme Court order and University rules.
"Marks were not awarded for other criteria like experience, higher education, age, seniority etc. Thus in my consideration, making selection by allocating 100 per cent for interview is highly arbitrary," Justice S Nagamuthu of the Madurai bench said.
He stated this while allowing the petition filed by University's Assistant Registrar M Ramamoorthy against the appointment of M Pichiappan as Deputy Registrar.
Justice Nagamuthu said it was needless to point out that when 100 per cent marks is awarded for interview and selection made solely on these marks, there was certainly a likelihood of favouritism or nepotism "or any other things alike."
He pointed out that the apex court had held that allocating more than 15 per cent marks for interviews would be unconstitutional.
He rejected Pichaiappan's contention that he was the senior most Assistant Registrar and was better qualified than any candidate who took part in the interview, including the petitioner.
He said comparative merit and efficiency of candidates as required under the statute is to be assessed by competent selection committee by following procedure objectively.
The test should be foolproof to assess the merit of the candidates so as to select the best among participants for promotion to the post of Deputy Registrar. For interview only 15 per cent could be allocated.
The judge said there were 12 Assistant Registrars awaiting promotion. Of them one did not participate in the interview while another had passed away. So the University should issue call letters for the 10 others and conduct the selection process among them and make selection strictly on the basis of merit and efficiency, he said.
The judge directed the syndicate to constitute a selection committee and conduct the exercise from among the 10 candidates, which should be completed in eight weeks.
On the Registrar's submission that four others had been promoted as Deputy Registrar from among the 10 persons, the judge said those four could function only as "Deputy Registrar-in-charge" till the new process was completed. If selected, they could become regular Deputy Registrars.
The petitioner submitted that the five-member selection committee had separately awarded marks for interview. Total marks earmarked for the interview was 250.
The petitioner's counsel submitted that allotting marks only for interview ignoring other criteria was arbitrary and unscientific and hence prayed that the selection be quashed.