Courts are not experts on educational degrees, says HC

A view of High Court of Karnataka. File Photo.  

The courts are not expert bodies to give a finding on whether a bachelor’s degree in engineering has to be treated equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in science. It is for expert bodies like the University Grants Commission to arrive at such a finding, said the Karnataka High Court.

A division bench comprising Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty made these observations while allowing an appeal filed by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) challenging a September 2020 verdict of a single judge bench.

The single bench had directed the BWSSB to consider the applications filed by the petitioner – Ambarish Kumar S. – and other candidates possessing BE degree for the posts of Assistants/Clerks. The single bench had said that BE is ‘equivalent to a degree in science’ when the qualification prescribed for the posts was ‘a decree in Arts/Commerce/Science from a recognised university along with a one-year course in computer basics’.

However, the division bench, citing judgments of the apex court, said that the employer is entitled to prescribe the qualifications as a condition of eligibility, and there is no part of the role or function of judicial review to expand upon the ambit of the prescribed qualifications.

The equivalence of a qualification and whether a particular qualification should or should not be regarded as equivalent is not a matter which can be determined in exercise of the power of judicial review but is a matter for the State as the recruiting authority, the division bench said while setting aside the single judge bench’s order.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 7:38:15 PM |

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