A Candidate In PSC Rank List Does Not Get An Indefeasible Right To Be Appointed: Kerala HC (FB) [Read Judgment]
“A candidate in a rank list certainly obtains a statutory right for being considered for appointment to every vacancy reported during its life span, subject to his/her position and turn therein, but does not get a vested right for being appointed to a post”
A full bench of Kerala High Court has observed that no candidate can claim a legally enforceable right to be appointed to a particular post merely on the strength of his/her inclusion in the rank list published by the Public Service Commission.
The bench comprising Justice PR Ramachandra Menon, Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice N. Anil Kumar, was answering a reference from the division bench which had doubted a 1977 judgment in Kerala Public Service Commission v. Dr. Kesavankutty Nair on the ground that the said judgment is no longer good law on account of the coming into force of the Kerala Public Service Commission Rules of Procedure and in particular, Rules 13 and 14 thereof, which give the candidates, included in a rank list, the statutory right to be considered for appointment.
The court observed that, what Rules 13 and 14 of the PSC Procedure Rules statutorily provide is that the candidates included in a rank list certainly obtain a right for being considered, subject to their turn and place in the list, to every vacancy that is reported during the life of the said list. The bench said:
"Viewed thus, a candidate in a rank list certainly obtains a statutory right for being considered for appointment to every vacancy reported during its life span, subject to his/her position and turn therein, but does not get a vested right for being appointed to a post. In fact, closely viewed, this is what Dr.Kesavankutty Nair (supra) also says, though the facts noticed by their Lordships in the said judgment are certainly at variance to the facts involved in these cases."
The court, answering the reference, held as follows:
Normally, it is only in two specific contingencies can the expiry of a rank list obtain postponement; namely, if a court interdicts the appointing authorities from reporting vacancies to the Public Service Commission during its life time; or, if a court prohibits the Public Service Commission from making advice from the rank list within the period of one year or such other periods as may be statutorily prescribed, after it is brought into force
The views and conclusions in Kerala Public Service Commission v. Dr. Kesavankutty Nair (1977 KLT 818), that a candidate in a rank list does not get an indefeasible right to be appointed, is certainly good law and such position does not change even after the coming into force of the PSC Procedure Rules because these Rules only offer the candidates, included in a rank list, a statutory right to be considered against the vacancies available and reported during the life time of such list, but not to be appointed.