HC rejects PIL against appointment to director's post in Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga

HC rejects PIL against appointment to director's post in Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga

New Delhi, Nov 15 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) matter challenging the appointment of Ishwarappa Veerbhadrappa Basavaraddi as the director of the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), a distinguished autonomous institution under the AYUSH ministry.

The petitioner had alleged that Basavaraddi lacked the requisite qualifications to be appointed to the post and had furnished purportedly false and fabricated employment record.

In an order passed earlier this month, a bench headed by then Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma said Basavaraddi's 'profile aligns with that envisioned for the director of MDNIY' and it was a 'reasonable deduction' that he was 'not merely qualified, but indeed aptly suited for the role'.

Also, considering that he had retired from the position on June 30 and the PIL was thus 'moot', the court ordered: 'Based on the comprehensive review of the evidence and arguments presented, we find no compelling reason to sustain the petition. Therefore, the petition is hereby dismissed.' The petitioner, who served as an assistant professor in the MDNIY from 2015 to 2018, had alleged that he had witnessed numerous administrative discrepancies under the directorship of Basavaraddi, who assumed the director's role on June 26, 2005, in spite of an apparent deficiency in meeting the requisite qualifications stipulated by the recruitment norms.

The bench, also comprising Justice Sanjeev Narula, said 'mere dissatisfaction with the outcomes related to an appointment process or the performance of an appointee does not per se translate into legal infirmity' and the petitioner did not provide any incontrovertible proof to sustain his challenge.

'It has been established through careful evaluation of the service records and educational qualifications that Respondent No. 3 has met the essential criteria for the appointment as director of MDNIY, as applicable at the time of his appointment. This compliance with the prescribed qualifications is a central pillar in upholding the legitimacy of his position,' the court said.

The court said it is mindful that the sanctity of appointments to public offices is of paramount importance and while a writ petition is a tool to ensure that no individual occupies a public office without legal authority, it has to be grounded on firm evidence that dislodges the presumption of regularity in public appointments. PTI ADS RC

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