Prasad & Ors, Vs. Union of India & Anr  INSC 1085 (6 September
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
O R D
special leave petition arises against the order of the Central Administrative
Tribunal, Allahabad Bench made on July 15,1996 in Original Application No.959 of
1995. The admitted position is that for the recruitment to Group 'C' posts, a
notification was issued on July 19, 1994 inviting applications for selection of
48 Ticket Collectors in Lucknow Division in the pay scale of Rs.950-1500/- Out
of 800 candidates who appeared in the examination, 106 candidates got place in
the select list which was subsequently cancelled on the ground that
mal-practice was committed in writing the examinations as the papers were
leaked out earlier to the date of examination. The cancellation came to be
challenged in the Tribunal. The Tribunal in impugned order has upheld the
this special leave petition.
learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioners, raised three-fold
contention. Firstly, the Deputy Divisional Manager was not the competent
authority to cancel the select list, the General Manager being the competent
authority. We find no force in the said contention. The Divisional Manager can
also be authorised by the General Manager to discharge the function of the
General Manager. Therefore, he could be said to have discharged the function of
cancellation of the select list. It is then contended that since the order does
not indicate any reasons, it is bad in law. In support thereof, he placed
strong reliance on the decision of this Court in Hohinder Singh Gill & Anr.
vs. The Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi & Ors.[(1978) 1 SCC 4051,in
particular, paragraph 8 of the judgment. It is true that when an order is
passed, be it administrative or quasi-judicial in nature, necessarily it would
contain grounds or reasons for invalidating the action taken. The authorities
cannot subsequently explain their actions by way of Affidavit or otherwise.
Therefore, this Court insisted upon the public orders made in exercise of the
statutory power, should contain reasons and the order should contain the kind
of action taken 4 by them. Therefore they cannot be permitted to substitute
their actions or contents of orders by reference to any affidavits or other
actions which did not find place in the order. In this case, the authorities
simply cancelled the selection list. In Maharashtra State Board of Secondary
and Higher Secondary
Court had held that
if the order cancelling the examination came to be passed, the record should
indicate the reason, though order may not contain the reasons as indicated in
paragraphs 21 of the judgment. In that case, it was held that the order did not
contain the reasons but the record indicated the same. The administrative order
cancelling the examination in which mass copying was alleged, was sustained, It
is seen that after the allegations were made that mal-practices were committed,
the matter was referred to CBI for enquiry. The CBI has submitted his
preliminary report which indicated in writing the examination, They need await
the final report which would be to take further action against erring officers.
Therefore, it is a case where the authorities have taken the decision on the
basis of the report submitted by the investigating agency, containing proof in
support of the allegations of malpractice committed in writing the examination.
It cannot, therefore, be said that the order of cancellation does not contain
then contended that though the selected candidates have no vested right, they
had got a legitimate expectation for appointment when they had got a legitimate
expectation for appointment when they were selected for being appointed. They
should be given prior opportunity and also know the reasons for cancellation.
In support of this contention, he placed reliance on paragraph 8 of the
judgment of this Court in Asha Kaul & Anr. vs. State of Jammu & Kashmir
& Ors.[(1993) 2 SCC 573]. It is unexceptionable that when duly constituted
selection committee makes recommendation for appointment of the selected
candidates they candidated do not get any vested right or legitimate
expectation until they are appointed according to the Rules; they have a chance
to be appointed as have been selected by the recruitment agency. In that case,
the Government had cancelled the select list without any reasons. This Court
has laid the above rule in that backdrop. The ratio therein has no application
for the reason that after the perusal of the report submitted by the
investigating agency, the competent authority had cancelled the selection so
that the regular and proper examination could be conducted giving opportunity
to everyone in a fair manner. No prior opportunity need be given in the case of
mass copying. It is not the case where a named candidate committed copying.
Accordingly, we do not find any illegality in the order passed by the Tribunal.
special leave petition is therefore, dismissed.