Public Interest Litigation Should Not Be Entertained In Service Matter, Reiterates SC [Read Judgment]

Public Interest Litigation Should Not Be Entertained In Service Matter, Reiterates SC [Read Judgment]

"It is well settled that with regard to service jurisprudence, PIL are not entertained."

The Supreme Court has reiterated that a Public Interest Litigation should not be entertained in service matter.

In this case [Vishal Ashok Thorat vs. Rajesh Shrirambapu Fate], the Bombay High Court, while disposing a writ petition filed by a person, set aside the Proviso at the end of Rule 3(iii) and Rule 3(iv) and also Rule 4 of Assistant Inspector of Motor Vehicles, Group-C in Motor Vehicles Department (Recruitment) Rules 2016 and issues some directions with regard to select list. Ashok Thorat and 545 other candidates, whose names are included in the select list of 832 candidates, challenged this judgment before the Apex Court essentially contending that the petitioner in the Writ petition had no locus to challenge the recruitment of Assistant Motor Vehicles Inspector. It was further contended that, since the selected candidates were not impleaded, no direction could have been issued by the High Court with regard to select list.

While considering the appeals, the bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha noticed that the petitioner in the writ petition never applied against the advertisement to participate in the recruitment for the post of Assistant Inspector of Motor Vehicles. The bench also noticed that the High Court had, though not permitted to challenge the advertisements, but ultimately interfered with the select list of 832 candidates, which was prepared after preliminary examination and main examination in pursuance.

In this context, the bench referred to the judgment in Ayaaubkhan Noorkhan Pathan vs. State of Maharashtra that held that PILs should not be entertained in service matter. Though it noticed that the writ petition was not styled or framed as PIL, it said:

"Perusal of the impugned judgment indicates that the High Court was influenced by the submission of the appellant that loss being caused to the public revenue by appointment of Assistant Inspector of Motor Vehicles, who did not fulfill qualification as laid down in notification dated 12.06.1989, the High Court has virtually entertained the writ petition as PIL. Following observations made by the High Court in paragraph 29 clearly indicate that the High Court proceeded to treat the writ petition as PIL, although, it relates to condition of service of Assistant Inspector of Motor Vehicles."

Setting aside the judgment of the High Court, the bench held that it was not necessary for it to enter into the validity of Rule 3(iii), Rule 3(iv) and Rule 4 of the Rules, 2016.

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