In a recent ruling, the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court underscored the importance of transparency in selection criteria disclosure while affirming the validity of a selection process. Justice Sanjeev Kumar, presiding over the case involving petitioner Simranjeet Singh challenging the selection for the post of Engineer Equipment Mechanic (EEM) with the Indian Army, emphasized the need for employers to proactively notify selection criteria upfront. Singh contested the transparency of the process, citing the non-consideration of his experience and higher qualification. While endorsing the principle of pre-selection disclosure, Justice Kumar clarified that its absence alone wouldn’t invalidate the process if the applied criteria were fair. Notably, the selection was based solely on the written exam’s merit, eliminating any potential for arbitrariness. As Singh didn’t contest the exam’s conduct and scored lower than selected candidates, the court upheld their selection as valid, given their possession of the requisite ITI certification. However, it directed Singh’s consideration if any selected candidate declined the appointment, ensuring fairness in the process.

The case revolved around Simranjeet Singh’s challenge to the selection of Respondents Parveen Kumar and Sanjay Nath for the EEM position with the Indian Army. Singh argued that the selection process lacked transparency due to the undisclosed criteria and alleged non-consideration of his experience and higher qualification.

Justice Sanjeev Kumar stressed the importance of employers disclosing selection criteria upfront to ensure transparency and public trust in the process. While acknowledging the ideal practice of pre-selection disclosure, the court clarified that the absence of such disclosure alone wouldn’t nullify the process if the criteria applied were found to be fair and reasonable.

In this particular case, the selection was solely based on the written exam’s merit, with no interview conducted as part of the process, minimizing the potential for bias or arbitrariness. As Singh didn’t contest the conduct of the exam and secured lower marks than the selected candidates, the court upheld their selection as valid.

The bench highlighted the importance of fairness in the selection process and ordered that if any selected candidate declined the appointment, Singh, placed first in the waitlist, should be considered for the position. This directive aimed to ensure fairness and transparency in the selection process, even in cases where candidates were initially overlooked.

Overall, the ruling reaffirms the principle of transparency and fairness in selection processes, emphasizing the need for employers to disclose criteria upfront to enhance public trust and confidence. While upholding the validity of the selection in this case, the court’s directive for Singh’s consideration in case of vacancies reflects its commitment to ensuring fairness and equal opportunities for all candidates.

The judgment serves as a reminder to employers and authorities to adhere to transparent and fair practices in recruitment and selection processes, safeguarding the rights and interests of all stakeholders involved.

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