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Government of Andhra Pradesh & Anr Vs. P. Ravinder & Ors [1991] INSC 187 (13 August 1991)

Misra, Rangnath (Cj) Misra, Rangnath (Cj) Kuldip Singh (J)

CITATION: 1991 SCR (3) 564 1991 SCC Supl. (2) 112 JT 1991 (3) 480 1991 SCALE (2)349

ACT:

Andhra Pradesh State and Subordinate Service Rules.

Andhra Pradesh Government's Order dated 18.11.81 --Appointment to Non-Gazetted posts of all services--Weight- age of 5 marks to candidates who have obtained basic educational qualifications through Telugu Medium--Applica- bility of order confined to selection carried through State Public Service Commission--Whether arbitrary--Benefit of order whether applicable to selection made through bodies other than the State Public Service Commission.

HEAD NOTE:

The Government of Andhra Pradesh issued an order dated 18.11.81 which provided that in respect of appointments to NonGazetted posts of all services, candidates who have obtained their basic educational qualification through the medium of Telugu shall be given weightage of 5% marks. But the benefit of the order was confined to selection made through the State Public Service Commission. The State Administrative Tribunal held that the order applies to' all selections irrespective of the body that makes selection in the State and extended the benefit of the order to the selection of the Sub-Inspectors of Police made through the State level Recruitment Board. Against the order of the Tribunal, the State of Andhra Pradesh filed an appeal to this Court.

Allowing the appeal, this Court,

HELD:

1. The Tribunal exceeded its jurisdiction in lifting the restriction imposed by the Government in the matter of benefit of 5% marks. The order of the Tribunal is vacated. [567D-E]

2. The State Government is the authority to take a policy decision. Whether the decision is tenable or not in law, is not to be decided by the Court. Since Government in their wisdom have specifically confined the application of the Notification to recruitment through the State Public Service Commission, the decision of the Tribunal that it was also available to be extended to selection through bodies other than the State Public Service Commission, cannot be appreciated. [566H, 567A] 565

3. When the Notification is specific and is intended to apply to a specified group of cases for selection, it would not be open to the Tribunal to extend its application beyond what has been clearly specified. It is one matter to say that the Notification applied in a limited way may he hit by law; it is another to say that contrary to the restriction imposed, the Tribunal would allow the Notification to have general application. [S67C]

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal Nos. 1694- 1709 of 1991.

From the Judgment and Order' dated 23.1.1990 of the A.P. Administrative Tribunal, Andhra Pradesh in R.P. Nos. 13986/89, 24045-50/89, 25091/89, 1027 & 2111/.89, 28925- 26/89, 28929 to 31/89 and O.A. No. 1918 of 1990.

K. Madhava Reddy and G. Prabhakar for the Appellants.

M.K. Ramamurthi, S. Markandeya and Ms. C. Markandeya for the Respondents.

The following Order of the Court was delivered:

This is an appeal by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh by special leave: Challenge is to the order of the State Administrative Tribunal directing the benefit of the Government Order of 18.11.1981 to be extended to selection of the Sub Inspectors of Police which is done through the State level Recruitment Board. The Government Order which has been extracted in the Order of the Tribunal reads thus:

"Notwithstanding anything in the Andhra Pra- desh State and Subordinate Service Rules or the Special Rules, candidates seeking appoint- ment of all the non-gazetted posts of all services, and seeking eligibility in general educational test who have obtained the basic educational qualifications prescribed for direct recruitment eligibility for promotion in the special rules governing such posts, through Telugu medium, shall be given weight- age in the matter of selection to such posts by awarding them 5% of the total aggregate maximum marks of the relevant competitive examination held by the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission for recruitment acquiring eligibility to such posts.

566 "Having regard to the avowed policy of the Government to introduce Telugu progressively in the State in the coming years and as Telugu has been 'introduced as official language at Directorage level and also in the lower courts in certain Districts of the State and so as to give preference to candidates who have ob- tained the basic educational qualification through the medium of Telugu, Government have after careful examination decided in consulta- tion with the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission that such candidates to give weightage of 5% of the total aggregate maximum marks of all the competitive examinations of the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission for recruitment to all the non-gazetted poStS of all services.

There is no dispute that the Order in its own terms applies to selection carried on through the State Public Service Commission; nor is there any dispute that the selection of Sub Inspectors, for the relevant period was being carried on by a body other than the State Public Service Commission.

The Tribunal observed as follows:

"We cannot the rule too literally and defeat the object and purpose with which it has been made. If the object and purpose are kept in view, then' we have no hesitation m holding that it applies to all selections irrespective of the body that makes selections in the State. We see no merit in the literal con- struction suggested by Sri Sagar." We are told that the validity of the Government Notifi- cation under challenge on the ground that the Government have no authority to make such a direction and that chal- lenge is in an independent petition pending disposal before this Court. Since this petition is not one challenging the Notification but seeking its extension to areas not covered by the Notification in terms, disposal of this petition has no bearing on the petition which challenges the Notifica- tion.

The State Government is the authority to take a policy decision. Whether the decision is tenable or not in law, as we have just pointed out, is not to be decided here. But since Government in their wisdom have specifically confined the application of the Notification to recruitment through the State Public Service Commission, we have not been 567 able to appreciate the decision of the Tribunal that it was also available to be extended to selection through bodies other than the State Public Service Commission.

Mr. Ramamurti appearing in. support of the respondents' cause has pointed out that if the Government Notification is confined to selection through the State Public Service CommissiOn, the Government-Notification would be hit by Article 14 of the Constitution. Therefore, according to Mr. Ramamurti, it was open to the Tribunal to read down the requirement by saying that the benefit of the Notification would be applicable to all categories of selection.

We have not been able to agree with Mr. Ramamurti that when the Notification is specific and is intended to apply to a specified group of cases for selection, it would be open to the Tribunal to extend its application-beyond what has been clearly. Specified. It is one matter to say that the Notification applied in a limited way may be hit by law;

it is another to say that contrary to the restriction im- posed, the Tribunal would allow the Notification to have general application. We are inclined to agree with Mr.

Madhava Reddy for the State that the Tribunal exceeded its jurisdiction in lifting the restriction imposed. by the, Government in the matter of benefit of 5% of total aggregate marks to those candidates who wrote their papers in Telugu language. The appeal is allowed and the order of the Tribu- nal stands vacated. No costs.

' T.N.A. Appeal al- lowed.

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