Tapas Kumar Das vs Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited 2024 INSC 225 – Advertisement – Pleadings

Advertisement – When an advertisement is made inviting applications from the general public for appointment to a post or for admission to any course , the advertisement constitutes a representation to the public and the authority issuing it is bound by such representation. It cannot act contrary to it – An order of cancellation of the candidature of an applicant, which is the subject matter of challenge in a court of law, has to be defended with reference to the Advertisement and the pleadings and not with reference to what was in contemplation of the authority issuing the Advertisement- It is not open to a writ court, much less an appeal court, to direct the modification of any clause/qualification in the Advertisement to suit the interest of any particular candidate or the issuing authority even. Any such direction would amount to re-writing the clause/qualification mentioned in the Advertisement, which would be plainly impermissible. (Para 24-26)

Practice and Procedure – A court cannot be swayed by the version of a party, which is not its pleaded case, and it should confine its decision to the points of assail/defence raised in the pleadings. Any such argument ought to have been traceable in the pleadings, and could not simply have been put before this Court as an afterthought. (Para 25)

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