K. & Anr Vs. The State of Karnataka
& Ors  INSC 1230 (30 September 1996)
O R D
have heard learned counsel for the parties.
appeals arise from the order of the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal made on February 27,1996 in OA No.3034-35/95. The
recruitment for the post of teacher was completed prior to November 17,1993 and teachers came to be appointed.
When the same was challenged, the Tribunal found that they were in excess of
50% of the quota reserved for the backward classes and weaker sections of the
society. But the Tribunal declined to interfere with the order on the ground
that the appellants belatedly approached the Tribunal on June 15, 1995 by which time all the appointments
had come to be made and the teachers were working. The Tribunal has pointed out
present Applications were filed on 15.6.1995. The Applicants question the
appointments to the public offices made by the State Government. Any challenge
to the appointments by the State Government should be made at the earliest. Any
laches on the part of the challenger to the appointments is a ground to refuse
of the appointments at this belated stage would also up- set the administrative
machinery and it is not in the public interest that the appointments made at
least a year and six months prior to the filing of the Applications should be
true that the reservation in excess of 50% is unconstitutional.
recruitment process no doubt was substantially over by the time the Supreme
Court announced its judgment in Indira Sawhney's case.
the select list was prepared subsequently, in all fairness the State Government
should have re- done the select list in the light of the decision of the
Supreme Court. But the question is whether we can, at this stage, set at naught
those appointments on the ground of unconstitutionality. The private
Respondents have already joined the service. Public interest requires that the experience
gained by the private Respondents should not be lost to the public. The relief
to be granted by this Tribunal is entirely discretionary.
Mr. Bhagwath contends that the Applicants have approached this Tribunal within
one year of the date of the cause of action, that may not be technically
correct. The cause of action arose when the select list was prepared which they
knew as unconstitutional even as early as on 17.11.1993. This apart, we are of
the firm view that the limitation provided under Section 19 of the
Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, does not come in the way of exercising our
discretion and reject an Application, if the Application suffers from laches.
is the view we have already taken in NAGARAJA AND OTHERS v. DIRECTOR GENERAL
AND INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE IN KARNATAKA, BANGALORE AND OTHERS (1995
K.S.L.J.541). This Tribunal cannot act mechanically and grant the relief only
on the ground that an Applicant has approached this Tribunal within one year of
the cause of action and he has made out a good case on merits, ignoring the
realities and the effect of the relief on the administration and private
parties. This Tribunal cannot shut its eyes to the inconvenience and injury
that would result to the private Respondents who have joined the service
already." In that view, it cannot be said that the view taken by the
Tribunal is not warranted on the facts in this case.
Jois, learned senior counsel for the appellants, contended that there are still
some vacancies and further vacancies have arisen and direction may be given to
appoint the appellants to those posts. The Tribunal has pointed out that unless
their merits are considered by the Service Commission vis-a-vis other eligible
candidates and the selected candidates, Tribunal cannot give any such direction
for appointment. We find that view taken by the Tribunal also cannot be said to
be unjustified warranting interference. On the other hand, the view is
consistent with philosophy of Articles 14 and 16(1) of the Constitution.
appeals are accordingly dismissed. No costs.