A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court has held that the job experience as an Assistant Company Secretary or a Management Trainee cannot be treated as equal to a Company Secretary.
The Court was hearing an appeal wherein the issue was whether the appellant fulfilled the eligibility criteria mentioned in the advertisement of having experience of five years ‘as’ a Company Secretary and/or, can it be said that the period during which the appellant worked as ‘Management Trainee’ and/or ‘Assistant Company Secretary’ be considered for treating the appellant having been appointed ‘as’ a Company Secretary so as to become eligible for the post of Company Secretary which was advertised?
The appellant was terminated from the company on the ground that she did not have the requisite five years’ experience for the post of Company Secretary, as stipulated in the Advertisement inviting applications to the said post.
It was contended before the Court that since she was working as Assistant Company Secretary for the period between June 2008 to May 2010 in Utkal Investments Limited and that she was working as Management Trainee in the Delhi Stock Exchange Association Limited for the period between April 2005 to June 2006, she is qualified for the post.
The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah said that “In the advertisement, it has been specifically and categorically stated that a candidate shall have post qualification experience of five years ‘as’ Company Secretary. The word used “experience as Company Secretary” has to be given a meaning that a candidate must have been appointed ‘as’ a Company Secretary and shall have actually worked ‘as’ a Company Secretary for five years. Giving other meaning would be changing the eligibility criteria as mentioned in the advertisement.”
Dismissing the appeal, the bench observed “the word ‘as’ and the words ‘experience as Company Secretary’ used in the advertisement are very clear and it means the candidate ought to be appointed and worked as such ‘as’ a Company Secretary.”
“In the present case, the word ‘as’ and the words ‘experience as Company Secretary’ used in the advertisement are very clear and as observed hereinabove it means the candidate ought to be appointed and worked as such ‘as’ a Company Secretary. Therefore, the aforesaid decision shall not be applicable to the facts of the case on hand,” the bench said.To Read the full text of the Judgment CLICK HERE