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A Candidate Has No Legal Right To Insist That The Recruitment Process Set In Motion Be Carried To Its Logical End : Supreme Court

Ashok KM
22 May 2022 5:12 AM GMT
A Candidate Has No Legal Right To Insist That The Recruitment Process Set In Motion Be Carried To Its Logical End : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that a candidate does not have a legal right to insist that the recruitment process set in motion be carried to its logical end.

Even inclusion of a candidate in the select list may not clothe the candidate with such a right, the bench of Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy observed. The bench clarified that this does not mean that the employer is free to act in an arbitrary manner.

Background

Advertisements were issued for calling for online applications to fill up among other posts, post of Associate Professor for the colleges run by the ESI corporation (appellant). Later a notice was issued to keep the recruitment process in abeyance in regard to the post of Associate Professor and Professor for administrative reasons. Dr. Vinay Kumar (respondent) applied for the post of Associate Professor in Dentistry under the Scheduled Caste category at the ESIC Medical College thereafter. He filed an application before the Administrative Tribunal seeking directions to fill up the post of Associate Professor which was allowed. The corporation filed a writ petition before the High Court which dismissed it and directed the Corporation to conclude the process positively within a period of 45 days. Aggrieved with this direction, the Corporation filed appeal before the Apex Court.

Contentions

Before the Apex Court, the appellant contended that on account of certain developments which took place, there may really be no need to fill up the post of Associate Professor and the respondent may not have a right as such. The respondent, on the other hand, contended that the ground raised by the appellants for not proceeding with the procedure of direct recruitment is untenable.

Candidate who has applied does not have a legal right to insist that the recruitment process set in motion be carried to its logical end.

The court, agreed with the appellant, and said that the direction to conclude the proceedings within 45 days is unsupportable. As the very advertisement was put on hold, it is quite likely that any candidate who may have being desirous of applying, may not have applied being discouraged by the fact that the advertisement has been put on hold, the court said. The bench observed:

The cardinal principle we must bear in mind is that this is a case of direct recruitment. A candidate who has applied does not have a legal right to insist that the recruitment process set in motion be carried to its logical end. Even inclusion of a candidate in the select list may not clothe the candidate with such a right. This is, however, different, no doubt, from holding that the employer is free to act in an arbitrary manner.

While allowing the appeal, the bench directed the Corporation-appellants to take a decision regarding whether to complete the recruitment process, bearing in mind all relevant aspects within a period of two months.

Case details

Employees State Insurance Corporation vs Dr. Vinay Kumar | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 514 | CA 4150 OF 2022 | 18 May 2022

Coram: Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy

Counsel: Adv Manoranjan Paikaray, AOR Tejaswi Kumar Pradhan for appellants, AOR Shailesh Madiyal, Adv Neha Jain

Headnotes

Public Employment - Direct Recruitment - A candidate who has applied does not have a legal right to insist that the recruitment process set in motion be carried to its logical end. Even inclusion of a candidate in the select list may not clothe the candidate with such a right. This is, however, different, from holding that the employer is free to act in an arbitrary manner.

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