There is a chequered history in this case, which is getting curious with each round of litigation.

In English parlance, the word ‘suitable’ is assigned the meaning as ‘appropriate, fitted for the purpose or acceptable’. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘suitable’ as ‘well fitted for the purpose; appropriate’. This ordinary meaning is to be given effect to as a general guide, unless this expression is given special meaning in a statute or rule in administrative instructions. In R (Quintavalle), (2005) UKHL 28 House of Lords remarked, “the word ‘suitability’ is an empty vessel which is filled with meaning by context and background.”

In service jurisprudence, where the word ‘suitable’ is normally examined from the point of view as to whether a particular person is suitable to hold a particular post, it is construed as ‘fit’ to hold that post. It would mean, the job profile and job requirement of a particular post would be seen and then, going by the calibre, competence, attributes, skill and experience of the candidate, it would be ascertained as to whether such a person would be able to discharge the duties of the post i.e. whether he is suited to carry out the functions of the post, to the satisfaction of his employer.”

Hon’ble Justice A.K. Sikri, Lt. Gen. Manomoy Ganguly v. Union of India, [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 980 of 2018].