Allahabad HC Dismisses Writ Petition Due to Delay in Application Submission Processed by Post Office

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Published on: 03 September 2023 at 12:56 IST

The Allahabad High Court has rejected a Writ Petition filed by a government job applicant whose application submission was delayed by the Post Office.

The Court ruled that even though the post office acts as an agent of the Respondent (Recruiter), the Respondent cannot be held responsible for any delay in the receipt of the application form.

Justice Vikas Budhwar stated, “Though the post office acts as an agent of the respondent but the respondents cannot be bound by any delay in the receipt of the application form, and further the respondents cannot be allowed to wait for time immemorial in that regard.”

The State Government decided to make short-term appointments for one year to address the shortage of regular teachers, particularly in government schools.

The government issued various government orders (GOs) to implement this policy. The first government orders outlined the general principles for making short-term appointments. The second government orders provided more specific details on the appointment process.

The third government orders addressed the appointment of teachers in Sanskrit Vidyalayas. In line with these GOs, the government issued a notification for the recruitment of Sanskrit teachers for 14 positions, including Sukhnandan Sanskrit Pathshala, on June 15, 2023. Applicants were required to submit their applications by June 23, 2023.

The Petitioner sent his application by post on June 19, 2023, but it was not received by the institution until June 24, 2023. Consequently, the Petitioner filed a writ petition in the High Court, seeking directions to consider his application. He argued that the delay in delivering the application was due to the post office.

The Court referred to Supreme Court judgments in the cases of Neena Chaturvedi Vs. U.P. Public Service Commission (2010) and Rajendra Patel Vs. State of U.P., [2016]

The Court concluded that the government’s deadline was clear and unambiguous, and the applicant could not reinterpret it to his advantage. While acknowledging that the postal delay was not the applicant’s fault, the Court emphasized that it was still the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that his application reached the government on time.

The Court stated, “There is an additional factor that also needs to be considered: the terms set out in the Government Orders and the advertisement in question are quite specific, loud, and clear, and they cannot be allowed to be twisted or tailored to suit individual applicants. If the Court grants flexibility and leniency as sought by the writ petitioner, the selection process cannot be concluded.

The law is clear that the cutoff date may be painful to some and beneficial to others. In this case, the application submitted (hard copy) was received after the due date. Simply because the writ petitioner had communicated the same through Email on 19.06.2023 would not make any difference, as the two exercises are dependent on each other and have not been fully adhered to.”

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Petition.

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