Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Tuesday ordered the Maharashtra Public Services Commission (MPSC) to re-measure the height of an aspirant who couldn't qualify for the post of police sub-inspector because his height was 0.5 mm less than the eligible 165 cm height.
The bench said the aspirant - Sandeepkumar Nalawade, who fell 0.5mm short of the height was a 'rustic villager' who might not understand the norms. The bench was dealing with a plea filed by the MPSC through advocate Shrikrishna Ganbavale challenging the orders of the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) which had ordered Nalawade's re-measurement by city's JJ hospital.
According to Ganbavale, the MPSC had way back in 2013 issued advertisements for 714 odd posts of police sub-inspector. Nalawade, upon being physically examined by the Physical Measurement Committee (PMC) comprising of the chairman of the MPSC, the inspector general of police department, a civil surgeon and the state sports director. The PMC found Nalawade's height to be 164.5 cm which was short of 0.5mm of the eligible 165 cm.
However, Nalawade challenged the decision before an appellate committee that too found him short of 0.5 mm. Further, Nalawade furnished a certificate from the civil surgeon of Solapur stating his height to be 165.4 cm.
The MPSC however, refused to accept the certificate after which he moved the MAT, which ordered a re-measurement by the J J hospital. Before the HC, Ganbavale argued that the MAT didn't deal with the MPSC's affidavit filed before it and directly ordered a fresh measurement. "We cannot be delaying our recruitment process just because of a certificate by a civil surgeon," Ganbavale argued.
During the hearing, the bench noted that several candidates were disqualified despite standing at 164.8 cm i.e. short by 2 mm. "But those candidates haven't even bothered to come to the court. They have accepted the fact," Justice Kulkarni pointed out.
The bench further sought to know if the MPSC could again measure Nalawade's height with its new instruments. "We don't know what kind of instruments were used then in 2013. Why don't you (MPSC) consider measuring him again?" Justice Kulkarni asked.
Chief Justice Datta further said, "When we were children our heights were measured with a ruler. But now we have so many electronic instruments. Why don't you make use of one?"
"You (MPSC) are a constitutional authority no one is doubting you or claiming that you have grudges against any candidate. We understand that these norms (of height) are for transparency in recruitment," the chief justice said, adding, "But he (Nalawade) is a rustic villager. He wouldn't be aware of this. Consider fresh measurement."
The bench has adjourned the matter for further hearing after two weeks.