A court cannot act as an expert in the field of education and it should be left to the institutions to determine whether a candidate possesses requisite qualification or not, the Supreme Court has said. A bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna said there cannot be any deviation from the educational qualifications mentioned in an advertisement of job.
“In the field of education, the court of law cannot act as an expert normally, therefore, whether or not a student/candidate is possessing the requisite qualification should better be left to the educational institutions, more particularly, when the Expert Committee considers the matter,” the bench said.
The observation came while dismissing a batch of appeals challenging the order of the Jharkhand High Court with regard to the selection process for appointment to the post of postgraduate trained teachers in the high school of Jharkhand for different subjects under different categories.
The top court said that as per the advertisement, a candidate must have postgraduate/bachelor degree in history.
“We have gone through degrees/certificates in the case of respective writ petitioners. It appears that the respective writ petitioners have obtained postgraduate degrees/bachelor degrees, as the case may be, in one of the branches of history, namely, Indian Ancient History, Indian Ancient History and Culture, Medieval/Modern History, Indian Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology.
“In our view, obtaining the degree in one of the branches of history cannot be said to be obtaining the degree in history as a whole. As a history teacher, he/she has to teach in all the subjects of history, namely, Ancient History, Indian Ancient History and Culture, Medieval/Modern History, Indian Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology etc,” the bench said.
Therefore, having studied and obtaining the degree in only one branch of history cannot be said to be having a degree in history subject as a whole, which was th requirement, it said.
“In the present case, the educational qualifications required have been specifically mentioned in the advertisement. There is no ambiguity and/or confusion in the advertisement providing educational qualification and the post for which the applications were invited (History/Civics).
“There cannot be any deviation from the educational qualifications mentioned in the advertisement. Once having found that the respective writ petitioners appellants herein were not having the requisite qualification as per the advertisement, namely, the Postgraduate/Bachelor degree in History, which was the requirement as per the advertisement and thereafter their candidature was cancelled, both the learned single judge as well as the division bench of the high court have rightly refused to interfere with the same,” the bench said.