Equivalence of Qualifications: Setting Aside of Appointment Upheld by Supreme Court of India

In a significant ruling by the Supreme Court of India, the judgment regarding the equivalence of qualifications and the appointment has been upheld. The case revolves around the setting aside of an appointment and the subsequent appeal. The Court’s decision sheds light on the necessity for proper assessment of qualifications in academic appointments. Stay tuned to learn more about this crucial legal development.


  • An Equivalence Committee was constituted as per the directions of the learned Single Bench.
  • The appellant was selected for the post of Assistant Professor in Physical Education (Yoga Therapy) on March 28, 2013.
  • Through an RTI application, it was revealed that the appellant had already been appointed to the said post by a letter dated March 28, 2013.
  • The University submitted an affidavit dated May 01, 2019, including a report from the Equivalence Committee dated May 24, 2016.
  • Petitioner challenged the eligibility of the appellant to participate in the selection process as he believed the appellant did not meet the essential qualifications for the post.
  • The Petitioner filed a writ petition in the High Court of Calcutta against the appointment of the appellant as Assistant Professor.
  • The Division Bench dismissed the appeal filed by Dr. Sridip Chatterjee.
  • The Single Bench of the High Court had set aside Dr. Sridip Chatterjee’s appointment as Assistant Professor in Physical Education (Yoga Therapy).
  • University was directed to form an Equivalence Committee comprising experts to determine if the qualification of the appellant was equivalent to the required qualification.
  • The University did not clarify the equivalence of the appellant’s qualification to the required qualification in the advertisement.
  • The selection committee considered eight candidates, but it was questioned why Dr. Sridip Chatterjee was considered the best despite the disparity in educational qualifications as mentioned in the advertisement.
  • The University’s committee should not have independently determined the equivalence of qualifications possessed by a candidate, it should have been done through the Equivalence Committee.
  • The High Court upheld the decision to set aside Dr. Sridip Chatterjee’s appointment and ordered the University to conduct a fresh selection process based on equivalence.
  • Dr. Sridip Chatterjee appealed against this decision through an intra-court appeal.

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  • The appellant holds a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in Yoga Education.
  • The requirement for the post is a Post Graduate Diploma in Yoga or Yoga Therapy.
  • The appellant submitted a statement from the Kaivalyadhama Shriman Madhava Yoga Mandir confirming that the qualification possessed meets the requirement.
  • Court references judgments to support the equivalence of Diploma in Yoga Education with Diploma in Yoga.
  • A clarification from UGC regarding interchangeability of subjects is cited to support the appellant’s qualification.
  • The subject matter involves the selection and appointment of the appellant as Assistant Professor in Physical Education (Yoga Therapy) at Jadavpur University.
  • The University’s advertisement required a Master’s in Yoga/Yoga Therapy or Physical Education with a Post Graduate Diploma in Yoga/Yoga Therapy.
  • The appellant’s eligibility is contested due to a discrepancy in the nomenclature of the Diploma.
  • The Selection Committee’s experts were satisfied with the appellant’s qualification, despite not explicitly recording it.
  • An Equivalence Committee formed by the University found the appellant’s Diploma certificate to satisfy the eligibility conditions.
  • Procedural irregularities in the Selection Committee’s minutes are argued to be cured by the Equivalence Committee’s decision.
  • The expertise of the Equivalence Committee in assessing eligibility is emphasized, urging the Court to respect their findings.
  • The Court is cautioned against taking a different view on the appellant’s qualification than the experts’ assessment.
  • Reliance placed on judgment of this Court in Prakash Chand Meena & Ors. v. State of Rajasthan & Ors.
  • Court cannot go into the question of equivalence of degrees mentioned in the advertisement.
  • The condition in the advertisement was Diploma in Yoga or Yoga Therapy.
  • The appellant possesses Diploma in Yoga Education.
  • Division Bench of the High Court’s judgment is not sustainable in law.

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  • The Selection Committee did not explicitly mention that the appellant’s Diploma is equivalent to the educational qualifications advertised.
  • The Selection Committee consisted of subject matter experts who may have implicitly considered the equivalence.
  • Judgements cited by the respondents relate to changes in eligibility criteria during the selection process, which is not the case here.
  • The advertised qualification is a Post Graduate Diploma in Yoga or Yoga Therapy.
  • The decision cannot be solely interfered with based on the Court’s opinion that Diploma in Yoga Education is different from Diploma in Yoga or Yoga Therapy.
  • The Court should not solely base its decision on the nomenclature of the appellant’s Diploma.
  • The Equivalence Committee, as directed by the Single Bench, found the appellant’s Diploma to meet the advertisement requirements.
  • The Experts, after evaluation, determined that the appellant fulfills the eligibility conditions of the advertisement.
  • The reliance on a curriculum from Kaivalyadhama by the respondents to dispute the appellant’s eligibility was deemed insufficient, especially when the expert committee had already confirmed the appellant’s suitability.

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  • The present appeal has been allowed
  • The judgment passed by the High Court has been set aside
  • The appellant will be reinstated in service immediately
  • The appellant will receive all consequential benefits, seniority, and pay fixation
  • The appellant will not receive pay for the period he was out of service
  • No costs have been ordered


Case Number: C.A. No.-006102-006102 / 2019

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