The Supreme Court on Tuesday made the judgement upholding Punjab National Bank's decision in disqualifying a peon from service for his overqualification. The court refused to accept the contention that overqualification cannot be a ground for disqualification and upheld the Punjab National Bank order terminating the service of a peon who had suppressed the fact that he was a graduate.
The top court set aside two orders of the Orissa High Court by which it had asked the bank to allow the peon to discharge his service, saying “a candidate having suppressed the material information and/or giving false information cannot claim the right to continuance in service”.
The bench allowed the appeal filed by the bank, noting that it had stated in its job advertisement that the applicant should not be a graduate.
The court also observed that instead of challenging the qualification criteria, Amit Kumar Das had applied for the job and hidden his qualification.
On the ground that Das "deliberately, willfully and intentionally suppressed the fact that he was a graduate, the High Court has erred in directing the appellant Bank to allow the respondent - original writ petitioner - to discharge his duties as a peon”, the court said.
Referring to an earlier verdict of the top court, the bench said that the suppression of material information and making a false statement have a clear bearing on the character and antecedents of the employee in relation to his continuance in service.
It said, “An employee is expected to give correct information as to his qualification. The original writ petitioner failed to do so. He was, in fact, overqualified and therefore ineligible to apply for the job”.
The bench noted that the Bank has invited the applications for the post of peon by giving a newspaper advertisement in which it was specifically mentioned that a candidate should have passed 12th class or its equivalent with basic reading/writing knowledge of English and should not be a graduate as on January 1, 2016.
It said that as per the eligibility criteria mentioned in the advertisement, a candidate with a graduate degree was not eligible even to apply.
The top court said that another righteous candidate has suffered due to this mischievous act by Das.