Grant of benefit to some persons by illegality or mistake does not confer right upon others to claim equality: SC [Read Judgment]

Grant of benefit to some persons by illegality or mistake does not confer right upon others to claim equality: SC [Read Judgment]


“Article 14 of the Constitution of India is not to perpetuate illegality and it does not envisage negative equalities, the Bench said


Reiterating that Article 14 of the constitution of India does not envisage negative equality, the Supreme Court in KULWINDER PAL SINGH AND ANR VS. STATE OF PUNJAB has observed that grant of benefit to some persons by illegality or mistake does not confer right upon others to claim equality.

Three candidates who had cleared Punjab Civil Services (Judicial Branch) examinations had filed writ petitions before the High Court contending that three vacancies which remained unfilled due to non-joining of three candidates should have been offered to them as they were next in the order of merit. The High Court dismissed the writ petitions holding that the appellants have no right to be appointed against the vacancies falling vacant due to non-joining of three candidates of general category.

On Appeal, they contended before the Apex Court that that the High Court erred by considering the issue of de-reservation of post even though the same was not raised before it. They further argued that once the High Court concluded its view upon de-reservation, High Court should have directed cancellation of other candidates on their said de-reserved post as a necessary corollary of holding de-reservation improper

Rejecting the contention that when the other candidates were appointed in the post against de-reserved category, the same benefit should also be extended to the appellants. Referring to In State of U.P. And Ors. v. Raj Kumar Sharma and Ors. (2006) 3 SCC 330, the bench said:

Article 14 of the Constitution of India is not to perpetuate illegality and it does not envisage negative equalities... Merely because some persons have been granted benefit illegally or by mistake, it does not confer right upon the appellants to claim equality.

Read the Judgment here.