The Madras High Court has observed that the employees of Reserve Bank of India cannot be called as Government employees.
"Are you a Government employee?" was one of the queries in the questionnaire published by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission in its application form for Combined Civil Services-I Examination. E.Manoj Kumar, who is a Reserve Bank employee, answered it in the negative. The commission withheld his result on the ground of suppression of material particulars in the application form regarding the employment in Reserve Bank of India.
He approached the High Court challenging this action by the Commission. Though the single bench gave interim relief, it finally held that the non disclosure of the Bank service would amount to suppression of material information attracting disqualification.
The Division bench, comprising of Justice KK Sasidharan and Justice PD Audikesavulu, took a contrary view in the writ appeal filed by Manoj Kumar, observing that column in the application form contain only one service for disclosure viz., "Government service", and thus it would not be possible for a Bank employee to record that he is a Government employee.
The bench also rejected the commission's argument that contended that service in the RBI is a Central Government service. It said:
"The fact that the Central Government has persuasive control over RBI would not make its employees Central Government employees... It is true that RBI is a State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India. Even then it cannot be said that its employees are all regular Government employees."
Allowing the appeal filed by Manoj Kumar, the bench said:
"Even the entry in question was correctly filled up by the appellant. He was not responsible for the preparation of an incorrect questionnaire by the TNPSC."