Bihar Vs. Kumar Promod Narain Singh &
Ors  INSC 423 (10 April 1997)
RAMASWAMY, D.P. WADHWA
O R D
E R Impleadment application is dismissed.
appeal by special leave arises from the judgment of a learned single judge of
the Patna High Court, made on February 17, 1986.
admitted facts are sufficient for disposal of this appeal. Recruitment to t he
Class III posts in several categories in the State of Bihar was advertised by the Bihar State
Selection Service Board. Large number of candidates applied for selection.
There were 1005 posts in all ;
978 and subsequently 127 posts were included. For 7 categories of posts,
special educational qualification of graduation with commerce, Science,
Economics and Mathematics has been prescribed. For 3 categories of posts, only
general educational qualifications have been prescribed. All are required to
have graduation degree as a minimum educational qualification. Before selection
of the candidates, the pay structure of some of the posts underwent drastic
of the posts carrying higher pay scale, prior to the advertisement, were lower
grades with lesser scale of pay while some of the posts due to pay Commission
recommendations were increased. Be that as it may, when the selection was made
and appointments were sought to be made of the selected candidates, as per the
affidavit filed in this regard, on a direction given on July 30, 1987, the
Government claimed that "the Board considered candidates for various posts
as per availability at the time and recommended candidates strictly on the
basis of pay scale, academic qualifications of job requirements." The High
Court proceeded on the premise that no merit list was prepared and the
candidates who had aptitude for certain job or entitlement are required to be
considered for appointment.
had not been called for. Therefore, the selection and appointment of the
candidates without preparing merit list and without calling for the option is
arbitrary, violating Article 14 of the Constitution.
question, therefore, is: whether the view taken by the High Court is correct in
law? When we asked the learned counsel for the appellant to place before us the
merit list to substantiate the stand taken in the affidavit filed in that
behalf, the learned counsel is unable to place before us the merit list except
the publication in the newspaper that candidates were selected on the basis of
the merit. In view of the finding recorded by the High Court that no merit list
was in fact prepared, we find it difficult to accept the averments made in the
affidavit. Under these circumstances, we proceed on the premise that the merit
list has not been prepared and the selection came to be made on the basis of
educational qualifications required for the job and in some Departments on the
basis of pay scales available at that time. In this scenario, the question
arises: whether appointment of the candidates is valid in law? when the Service
Commission or the Board selects the candidates, the normal criteria required of
is to prepare of the list of the candidates selected in the order of their
merit and then recommends to the Government for appointment to the post
advertised for. In that behalf, it is always open to the executive to allot the
selected candidates in the particular categories of services in the order of
merit prepared and recommended as per the procedure and application of roster
and reservation and on the basis thereof appointments be made to the respective
Departments. Of course, it would be subject to the fulfilment of the
qualifications prescribed for the post. Since the Government has not satisfied
us as to have adopted this rationale, the appointment of selected candidates by
pick and choose is an arbitrary exercise of the power. Under these
circumstances, the arbitrariness is writ large.
the recommendations in respect of the allotment and appointment of selected
candidates is per se illegal. It is true that the High Court has pointed out
that options are to be called for and the selection is to be made on the basis
of the options given. we do not find that the criteria laid down by the High
Court is correct in law. Even if options were called for and given, it is not
mandatory for the Government to accept options of the candidates and make
appointment to the post. Asking for option of candidates is only a
discretionary matter and the Government is not bound to select the candidates
on the basis thereof.
these circumstances, the candidates who applied for, though opted for, have no
acquired rights, much less indefeasible and absolute right for selection or
appointment to a particular post. As stated earlier, the Government have to
prescribe an objective and rational method or manner of allotment of the
candidates selected to the Departments, depending upon their job necessity and
requirement. Since the objective and rational criteria was not followed,, we
decline to interfere with the impugned order passed by the High Court.
Government is directed to act in the light of the law laid down in this order.
This direction would apply only to those cases where the appointments have not
become final and the pending matters would be disposed of in the light of this
appeal is disposed of accordingly but without any order as to costs.