Manipur High Court on Monday quashed and set aside the appointment order of Th Ojit as chairman of COHSEM on deputation basis dated December 16, 2022 issued by the Education (S) department.
A single bench of the High Court Justice A Bimol passed the judgment, following the hearing of a writ petition filed by former chairman (in-charge) of COHSEM Ch Sarat assailing the appointment of the Th Ojit as the chairman along with the prayer for directing the authorities to appoint him as the chairman.
The court also directed the commissioner/secretary and joint secretary of Education (S) to re-consider both cases Th Ojit and Ch Sarat by evaluating their comparative merits and to appoint the suitable candidate as chairman of COHSEM.
According to the court's judgment, an order dated July 12, 2022 issued by the deputy secretary of Education (S), Ch Sarat was appointed as chairman of COHSEM on an in-charge basis till a regular chairman is appointed.
During that tenure, the Education (S) department issued a notification dated August 18, 2022, inviting applications from willing candidates for appointment of chairman, COHSEM on deputation basis.
In response to the said notification, three candidates, including Ch Sarat and Th Ojit, submitted their applications and subsequently Th Ojit was appointed as chairman of COHSEM on deputation for a term not exceeding three years by an order dated December 16, 2022 issued by the joint secretary of Education (S).
Having been aggrieved, the petitioner approached this court by filing the writ petition with a prayer for quashing and setting aside the said appointment order.
In support of his prayer, the petitioner counsel strenuously submitted that even though the petitioner is quite eligible and qualified to be appointed as chairman of COHSEM, the authorities wrongly rejected his candidature on the ground that the petitioner did not possess the eligibility criteria for appointment as the chairman as prescribed under the provisions of section 12(2) of the said Act.
It has also been submitted that without examining the relevant records in respect of the petitioner's qualification, the authorities came to the conclusion that the petitioner is not eligible for appointment as chairman of COHSEM while in fact the petitioner is eligible for appointment as the chairman as per section 12 of the said Act.
The court passed the judgment after viewing that the authorities wrongly treated Ch Sarat as not qualified for appointment as the chairman, and the authorities selected and appointed Th Ojit without considering and evaluating the comparative merits of the Ch Sarat and Th Ojit.
"This court is of the considered view that the authorities rejected the candidature of the petitioner without proper examination of his qualifications and without proper application of mind and that the petitioner had been able to make out a case for interfering with the impugned order dated December 16, 2022," mentioned the court's judgment.