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Selections To Public Employment Should Be On The Basis Of Merit: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
21 Feb 2021 5:32 AM GMT
Selections To Public Employment Should Be On The Basis Of Merit: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that the selections to public employment should be on the basis of merit.Appointment of persons with lesser merit ignoring those who have secured more marks would be in violation of the Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India, the bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Indira Banerjee observed in a judgment passed on Thursday. In this case,...

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The Supreme Court observed that the selections to public employment should be on the basis of merit.

Appointment of persons with lesser merit ignoring those who have secured more marks would be in violation of the Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India, the bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Indira Banerjee observed in a judgment passed on Thursday. 

In this case, the appointees to the posts of Police Sub-Inspectors, Attendants (Sergeant) and Company Commanders by the Home Department of the Government of Jharkhand were terminated on the ground that the select list was prepared wrongly by ignoring merit of candidates and by giving undue importance to the preferences given by them. Allowing the writ petition filed by these appointees who were terminated, the Jharkhand High Court observed that they cannot be held responsible for the irregularities committed by the authorities in the matter of their selection and there is no allegation of fraud or misrepresentation on their part. The court observed that they should be appointed against existing/ anticipated or future vacancies, treating them as fresh appointments and placing them at the bottom of the seniority list in the revised merit list. Some other candidates had also filed intervention applications before the High Court contending that they should also get appointment in view of the fact that they have secured more marks than those who were directed to be reinstated. The High Court dismissed these applications.  

Agreeing with the High Court view, the Apex Court bench observed that relief granted to Writ Petitioners is mainly on the ground that they have already been appointed and have served the State for some time and they cannot be punished for no fault of theirs. While considering the plea of interveners, the bench observed thus:

There is no doubt that selections to public employment should be on the basis of merit. Appointment of persons with lesser merit ignoring those who have secured more marks would be in violation of the Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India. 

The court agreed with the High Court view that the intervenors are not similarly situated to the writ petitioners and they cannot seek the same relief. "After cancellation of the appointments of the Writ Petitioners, 43 persons have been appointed from the revised select list. Those 43 persons have secured more marks than the intervenors. By the appointment of 43 persons, the number of posts that were advertised i.e. 384 have been filled up. The intervenors have no right for appointment to posts beyond those advertised.", the bench observed.

CASE: Anmol Kumar Tiwari vs. State of Jharkhand [Civil Appeal Nos. 429-430 of 2021]
CORAM: Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Indira Banerjee
CITATION: LL 2021 SC 102
COUNSEL: Sr. Adv P.S. Patwalia, Sr. Adv R. Venkataramani, Sr. Adv Deepak Nargolkar, AAG Tapesh Kumar Singh, Adv Prashant Bhushan 


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