punjab and haryana high court Law Insider

Sowmiya Rajendrakumar

Published on: July 21, 2022 at 20:37 IST

The Punjab & Haryana High Court while hearing the petition filed by Naresh Kumar and another seeking to set aside the order of Haryana Police Housing Corporation (HPHC) dated November 18, 2019, whereby Vinod Rawal was promoted to the post of executive engineer (civil).

The bench of Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal said, “It is difficult to accept that an engineering degree through distance mode of education would be at par with a course undertaken through physical mode.”

Setting aside an order of the HPHC which promoted an employee to the post of executive engineer who had obtained the degree of civil engineering through distance education mode, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has said, “A person who has not physically attended the classes/course and has not undertaken practical training cannot be said to be an engineer.”

The bench of Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal said, “I shudder to think whether any patient would like to be treated by a doctor who has obtained MBBS degree through distant learning. The functions of engineers are of significant importance as they are involved in building the nation’s infrastructure, and any laxity/incompetence due to lack of knowledge would not only endanger the precious lives of citizens but also cost the state exchequer dearly.”

The petitioners, through Counsel Anurag Goyal, argued that Rawal was promoted as executive engineer in violation of Section 6(a) (proviso) of Haryana Service of Engineers, Group-A, Public Works (Building and Roads) Department Act, 2010, wherein it is stipulated that a person, who has obtained a degree of civil engineering through distance education mode will not be eligible for promotion.

Rawal had obtained the degree in engineering through distance education from JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University, which is not recognized by UGC and AICTE, the petitioner’s counsel contended.

Justice Grewal – after perusing Sections 6 and 9 of the 2010 Act and citing judgments of the Supreme Court – held, “Respondent No. 3 (Rawal) is not qualified for entry into Group A service or promotion to the post of executive engineer as it has been specified in Section 6 of the 2010 Act that no degree obtained through distance learning would be acceptable for appointment to the Group A service.”

Justice Grewal also said The 2010 Act is stated to be under challenge but it has not been set aside. There is no interim order staying the operation of the Act. The Act is in force as on date and Respondent No. 3 does not possess the requisite qualification for promotion to the post of executive engineer.”

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