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A. M. Vadi Vs. India Trade Promotion Organisation [1994] INSC 83 (4 February 1994)

Agrawal, S.C. (J) Agrawal, S.C. (J) Mukherjee M.K. (J)

CITATION: 1994 SCC Supl. (2) 667

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. Leave granted.

2. Heard learned counsel for the parties.

3. This appeal relates to the selection of the appellant for posting as Resident Director of the India Trade Promotion Organisation, Respondent 1 herein, at New York.

The said posting was made on the basis of the selection made by a Selection Committee. The Selection Committee considered three persons including the appellant and S.P. Choudhary, Respondent 2 herein. One of the reasons given by the Selection Committee for rejecting the candidature of Respondent 2 was that he "does not have adequate service to fulfill the condition for a minimum period of two years after completion of the normal tenure of three years of posting abroad". This requirement has been prescribed by Respondent 1 in the matter of appointment on the post of Resident Director in the foreign office. This has been admitted by Respondent 2 in para 15 of his writ petition in the High Court wherein it is stated:

"That the candidate/officer proposed to be appointed as Resident Director outside India is required to execute a bond that he would serve the organisation for two years after rejoining Respondent 1 organisation on completion of his tenure failing which he will have to deposit a sum of Rs 20,000."

4. In the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of Respondent 1, with reference to para 15 of the writ petition, it was stated:

"The rationale for such a condition is to ensure that Respondent 1 organisation benefits from the expertise and experience of the officers posted abroad on foreign assignments, who become conversant with the latest international market trends and on return share their experience and exposure and knowledge, with the organisation."

5. The selection of the appellant was challenged by Respondent 2 by filing writ petition in Delhi High Court which has been allowed by the Division Bench of the High Court by judgment dated 15-10-1993. As regards the reason aforementioned given by the Selection Committee for not selecting Respondent 2 the learned Judges have observed:

"The minutes of the Selection Committee also show that in the case of the petitioner it also took into account the fact that he did not have adequate service to fulfill the condition of minimum period of two years after completion of normal tenure of three years of posting abroad. Petitioner 669 retires on 30-11-1997, and the Selection Committee Met on 9-3-1993. In that case the period of his foreign posting could have been curtailed for a couple of months. That was certainly a relevant consideration which the Selection Committee could have considered."

6. We are of the view that the High Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution was not justified in finding fault with the decision of the Selection Committee in this regard because in rejecting the candidature of Respondent 2 the Selection Committee had only followed the condition that has been prescribed by Respondent 1 which fact has been admitted by Respondent 2 in his writ petition. The fact that the Selection Committee did not consider it necessary to make a departure from this condition in the case of Respondent 2 does not render the action of the Selection Committee rejecting the candidature of Respondent 2 open to challenge. The question of going into the eligibility of the appellant for the posting could not arise for consideration since this is not a proceeding for issue of a writ of quo warrant. Respondent 2 had approached the court since he was aggrieved by his non- selection and the selection of the appellant was challenged in this context only. If Respondent 2 had been rightly rejected by the Selection Committee for the reason aforementioned then the challenge to the selection must fail. We, therefore, do not express any opinion on the question as to the eligibility of the appellant for such selection.

7. The appeal is, therefore, allowed, the judgment of the High Court is set aside and the writ petition filed by Respondent 2 is dismissed. No order as to costs.

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