Summary of Recent judgment

Case: Vashist Narayan Kumar v. The State of Bihar Ors.

Date of Order / Judgment: 2 nd January, 2024

The Matter Heard by Bench: Justice J.K. Maheshwari and Justice K.V. Viswanathan


In this case, the appellant had applied for the post of Police Constable under the reserved category. The appellant satisfied the eligibility criteria and passed all stages of the selection process successfully but he was not ultimately selected. The reason behind his non-selection was that, while in the application form uploaded online, the appellant's date of birth was shown as December 8, 1997 whereas in the school mark sheet, it was reflected as December 18, 1997. The appellant filed a representation. On receiving no response, he approached the Patna High Court where a Single Judge of the High Court did not grant relief to the appellant, noting that incorrect information was provided. In an LPA, Division Bench of the court confirmed the Single Judge's order. Aggrieved by this decision, the appellant had approached the Supreme Court.


Whether the error committed in the application form, which was uploaded is a material error or a trivial error and was the State justified in declaring the appellant as having failed on account of the same?


The Court observed that “Considering the background in which the error occurred, we are inclined to set aside the cancellation. We are not impressed with the finding of the Division Bench that there was no prayer seeking quashment of the results declared over the web. A reading of the prayer clause in the writ petition indicates that the appellant did pray for a mandamus directing the respondents to consider the candidature treating his date of birth as 18.12.1997 and also sought for a direction for issuance of an appointment letter. A Writ Court has the power to mould the relief. Justice cannot be forsaken on the alter of technicalities.”


The Bench observed that the appellant had participated in the selection process and cleared all stages. The Court opined that the error made in the case was trivial and could not have formed the basis for rejection of the appellant's candidature. Consequently, the cancellation was set aside.