Union of India Vs. Satya Prakash Vasisht  INSC 453 (27 October 1993)
JAGDISH SARAN (J) VERMA, JAGDISH SARAN (J) SAHAI, R.M. (J) SINGH N.P. (J) CITATION:
1994 SCC Supl. (2) 52
1.In response to an advertisement issued in January 1978 inviting applications
from candidates for the post of Sub- Inspector (Executive) in the Delhi Police
Service, respondent Satya Prakash Vasisht also applied along with others. In
all 98 candidates were found suitable for appointment by the Selection
Committee and the respondent was placed at Serial No. 54 in the order of merit
amongst the suitable candidates. The selected candidates were called for
medical examination and the respondent was medically examined on June 2, 1978. During the medical examination,
the respondent was found medically fit in all respects except that he was found
to be colour blind. The respondent was not given the appointment on the ground
that he was colour blind. The respondent then challenged his non-appointment
before the Central Administrative Tribunal.
Tribunal by the impugned order dated January 7, 1987 has allowed the respondent's
application. It has been held that colour blindness was not a prescribed
disqualification for the post of Sub-Inspector (Executive) and, therefore, the
non-appointment of the respondent after he was duly selected was illegal.
Accordingly, the Tribunal has directed that the respondent be appointed as
Sub-Inspector (Executive) with all consequential benefits including seniority
and pay, etc. in accordance with law with reference to the date on which he
would ordinarily have been appointed on such selection. This appeal by the
Union of India by special leave is against that judgment of the Tribunal.
only question for decision is whether colour blindness was a disqualification
prescribed for the post of Sub-Inspector (Executive) according to the rules
applicable at the relevant time. Admittedly, the relevant provision in the
rules introduced by amendment dated May 8, 1978 was applicable in the present case
and the same reads as under "(a) that the vision is up to the following
For Constables, Head Constables and Sub-Inspectors (Executive) Visual acuity
without glasses (ii)For Drivers and traffic staff. Visual acuity (both eyes).
6/12 without glasses Shall be free from colour blindness.
clerical staff and technical hands. Distant vision. Better eye Near vision.
eye." 54 3.The contention of learned counsel for the appellants is that
the expression shall be free from colour blindness" is applicable both to
sub-clauses (i) and (ii) of clause (a) and not merely to sub-clause (ii). It is
on this basis that the learned counsel for the appellants supported the non-
appointment of the respondent on the ground that he was colour blind. We are
unable to accept this contention.
the above extract as a whole, it is clear that the requirement that the
candidate should be free from colour blindness is only for the post of Drivers
and traffic staff in sub-clause (ii) and that does not apply to sub-clause (i)
relating to Constables, Head Constables and Sub-Inspectors (Executive). It is
obvious that the disqualification of colour blindness has no application to subclause
(iii) and this was rightly not disputed by learned counsel for the appellants.
In such a situation, the applicability (sic inapplicability) of the
disqualification of colour blindness to sub-clause (i) is further supported by
the fact that the other expression "visual acuity (both eyes) 6/12 without
glasses" is repeated identically in sub-clause (i) also even though it
finds place in subclause (ii). If the words "shall be free from colour
blindness" appearing in subclause (ii) were applicable also to sub-clause
(i), the other expression "visual acuity (both eyes) 6/12 without
glasses" would not have been repeated in subclause (i) when it finds place
in sub-clause (ii). That apart, there is clearly discernible basis for the
disqualification of colour blindness for persons appointed as Drivers and
traffic staff, the nature of whose duties are different from that of a
Sub-Inspector (Executive). The only contention advanced in support of the
appellants cannot, therefore, be accepted.
question now is of the nature of relief which should be granted to the
respondent in view of the fact that he was actually appointed in February 1988
after refusal of stay in this matter by this Court. The selections were made in
1978 and the other selected candidates had been duly appointed and were working
for several years prior to the date of actual appointment of the respondent in
1988. In such a situation, the grant of back wages to the respondent does not
appear to be just and proper. Learned counsel for the respondent in all
fairness accepted this position. We are also of the opinion that even though
the respondent is entitled to the benefit of service for the earlier part
commencing from the date on which he should ordinarily have been appointed on
being duly selected yet it would not be appropriate to treat the earlier period
prior to the date of his actual appointment as a period to be reckoned as
'actual service' if a period of actual service is prescribed as a necessary
qualification for promotion. We also make it clear that the promotions already
made of persons junior to the respondent in the merit list on account of the
late appointment of the respondent shall not be disturbed as a result of this
relief granted to the respondent. Subject to these limitations, the entire
earlier period commencing on the date on which the respondent should have been
ordinarily appointed would be treated as a part of his continuous service for
all other purposes including the retiral benefits and fixation of his
appeal is dismissed subject to the modification so made. The respondent shall
get costs from the appellants quantified at Rs 10,000.