Applications Received After Deadline Cannot be Considered, Even if Delay Caused by Post Office: Allahabad HC

LI Network

Published on: 28 August 2023 at 14:50 IST

The Allahabad High Court has ruled that application forms must reach the concerned authority on or before the stipulated last date of submission, even if the post office acts as an intermediary.

Justice Vikas Budhwar emphasized that recruiters cannot be compelled to wait indefinitely under the pretext of delayed delivery by the post office.

Justice Budhwar cited the judgments in the cases of Neena Chaturvedi and Rajendra Patel, underscoring that while the post office acts as an agent, recruiters cannot be held accountable for any delays in receiving application forms.

Recruiters should not be expected to wait indefinitely for forms, and applicants are responsible for ensuring timely submission.

The case pertains to the State Government’s policy of making short-term appointments of teachers due to a scarcity of educators.

The petitioner applied for a teaching position within the stipulated timeframe through both physical submission and email. However, the petitioner’s candidature was rejected due to his application arriving after the specified deadline.

The petitioner argued that the postal endorsement dated June 19, 2023, and the accompanying email proved that he had applied within the required timeframe.

Citing the Neena Chaturvedi case, the petitioner asserted that the postal department acted as the agent of the respondent, and since the application was dispatched before the due date, its arrival after the due date should not be consequential.

In response, the respondent’s counsel referred to notifications stating that the forms must reach the concerned authority before the last date.

As the petitioner’s form arrived one day after the last date, it was not considered. The counsel relied on the Rajendra Patel case to support their argument.

The court, harmonizing the two judgments, concluded that recruiters could not be compelled to wait indefinitely due to the post office’s involvement.

The application forms should be dispatched in a timely manner to reach the authority before the specified deadline.

The court emphasized that the terms and modalities laid out in advertisements cannot be altered to accommodate individual applicants’ needs.

Justice Budhwar emphasized that applying elastic interpretations could disrupt the selection process and cause inequities. In this particular case, the court observed that the petitioner’s email communication on June 19, 2023, did not negate the fact that the physical application was received after the due date. Therefore, the court dismissed the writ petition.

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