V. Ranganathan Vs. N.
Baskaran & Ors.  INSC 751 (16 September 2010)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C) No.18247 of
ALTAMAS KABIR, J.
Respondent No.1 herein, Shri N. Baskaran, and the Union Public Service
Commission filed two separate writ petitions, being W.P. Nos.41237 of 2 2005
and 10771 of 2006, challenging the order passed by the Central Administrative
Tribunal, Chennai Bench, on 7th December, 2005 in O.A. No.689 of 2004. The
relief prayed for by the Petitioner herein, who was the Applicant in the
Original Application, was for a direction upon the Union Public Service
Commission (U.P.S.C.) to appoint him to the post of Principal in a Higher
Secondary School in Pondicherry under the Scheduled Caste category instead of
Shri N. Baskaran, pursuant to order No.F.1/114/2003-R.III dated 16th July,
2004, issued by the said Respondent. The said relief was subsequently amended
in the following manner :- "Under these circumstances, it is prayed that
this Hon'ble Tribunal may be pleased to implead the third respondent as party
respondent in O.A.No.689/2004 so as to quash the appointment order issued by
the 3rd respondent in his letter in Ref.No.A.12012/CS/EBN/E. 1/2004 dated
13.8.2004 and thus render justice."
facts, which led to filing of the two writ petitions, indicate that the
Secretary, U.P.S.C., invited applications for appointment to three vacancies to
the post of Principal, Government Higher Secondary Schools in Pondicherry, by
Advertisement No.17 published in the "Employment News" on 13th
September, 2003. Out of the said three vacancies, one was reserved for a
candidate from the Scheduled Castes category. It appears that in the vacancies
for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, 48 applications were received and
on the basis of preliminary scrutiny, 11 candidates were short-listed and
called for interview on 9.3.2004.
Both, Shri N.
Baskaran and Shri V. Ranganathan, the Petitioner and the Respondent No.1 in
Writ Petition No.41237/2005, were among the 11 candidates who were called for
the interview. Apparently, based on his performance in the interview, Shri N. 4
Baskaran was selected for the post as per the Selection List published on
16.7.2004. It is thereafter that Shri V. Ranganathan filed the above-mentioned
O.A.No.689 of 2004 before the Chennai Bench of the Central Administrative
Tribunal. The Tribunal, by its order dated 7.12.2005, allowed the Original
Application and also directed the official respondents to appoint the Applicant
as the Principal of the concerned Higher Secondary School. Aggrieved thereby,
Shri N. Baskaran challenged such selection in Writ Petition No.41237 of 2005.
of the conditions which had to be fulfilled by the candidate for being eligible
to be appointed in terms of the advertisement was to have 10 years' teaching
experience in a Higher Secondary School.
As per Shri N.
Baskaran's version, he had more than 18 years total experience of teaching.
However, 5 according to the Union Public Service Commission, as far as the
Higher Secondary level is concerned, he had only 10 years and 4 months of
teaching experience. It is Shri Baskaran`s case that he also possessed a Post
Graduate Degree in Chemistry and a Post Graduate Degree in Education. It was,
therefore, claimed on his behalf that he was fully qualified for selection and
appointment to the post of Principal of a Higher Secondary School.
Shri N. Baskaran's behalf it was submitted that the service rendered by him in
the Higher Secondary Schools as well as at the Higher Secondary level should be
taken into account for calculating the period of qualifying service. It was
mentioned that Shri Baskaran had handled Chemistry as a subject at a Higher
That apart, the
educational qualification for a teacher working in a Polytechnic is the same
as 6 that of teachers working in Higher Secondary Schools. In addition to the
above, as far as the service rendered by Shri Baskaran in the District
Institute of Education and Training is concerned, the same would also have to
be taken into consideration for computing the years of service at a Higher
Secondary level as the educational qualifications prescribed for teachers in
Higher Secondary Schools and the District Institute of Education are the same
and both the posts are interchangeable and carry the same scale of pay.
far as Shri V. Ranganathan is concerned, it was stated on behalf of the
U.P.S.C. that although he had been short-listed and was also called for the
interview to fill up the vacancies in question, he could not be recommended by
the Interview Board for the post of Principal as his merit position at Serial
No.10 did not bring him within the zone of 7 consideration for filling up the
Accordingly, his case
was not considered for the purpose of filling up one of such vacancies.
Tribunal rejected the contentions made on behalf of Shri Baskaran and allowed
the application filed by the Petitioner herein and directed the concerned
respondents to appoint him as the Principal of the Higher Secondary School.
Challenging the said
order of the Tribunal, the Respondent No.1 herein filed Writ Petition No.41237
of 2005 and the UPSC filed Writ Petition No.10771 of 2006.
the High Court it was the case of the U.P.S.C. that the name of Shri V.
Ranganathan was not recommended for the post of Principal as his merit position
in the Selection List did not bring him within the zone of consideration and
since Shri 8 N. Baskaran had the required teaching experience of 10 years, he
was recommended for appointment.
was also the case of the U.P.S.C. that as far as Polytechnics are concerned,
after the completion of the 10th standard, instead of joining the 11th
standard, students join diploma courses, and, as such, duties at the
Polytechnic level is equivalent to studies at the Higher Secondary level.
Whenever there was necessity, the Government had spared Shri Baskaran's
services to the Polytechnics and he had worked at the Higher Secondary level in
the said Polytechnics. The further case of the Respondent No.1 was that having
obeyed the order passed by the Government from time to time, the same could not
be placed against him when it came to computing the period of his service.
addition to the above, it was also pointed out that the U.P.S.C. had produced
the selection list in which the Petitioner herein has been ranked at number 10
in the reserve list and even in the reserve list there were three more
candidates placed above him. The High Court allowed the two Writ Petitions
Nos.41237 of 2005 and 10771 of 2006 and the other pending applications were
stand on behalf of the U.P.S.C. appears to have been strongly opposed on behalf
of the Petitioner herein. It was contended that if the interpretation given by
the Tribunal with regard to experience, as indicated in the advertisement, is
to be accepted, the service rendered in Higher Secondary Schools and also at
the Higher Secondary level, would have to be taken into consideration for
determining the period of qualifying service.
for the Petitioner herein, Mr. K.V. Vishwanathan, learned Senior Advocate,
submitted that the findings of the High Court were in places at variance with
the findings of the Tribunal in computing the years of experience at the Higher
Secondary level which Shri N. Baskaran had acquired. It was pointed out that it
was the High Court's own finding that since the system of Higher Secondary
Schools is in vogue only in some States, it would be totally impossible to go
by the term "Higher Secondary School" which was not in use in the
to Mr. Vishwanathan, this was a classic case for issuance of writ in the nature
of quo-warranto since undoubtedly the Respondent No.1 had usurped the right of
the Petitioner to be appointed as Principal of the Higher Secondary School in
question. It was also urged that the 11 very procedure adopted for selection
of candidates to fill up the three vacant posts of Principal was invalid and
the Petitioner was entitled to be considered for appointment to the post of
Principal of one of the three Schools on the basis of his qualifications and
Gurukrishna Kumar and Ms. Binu Tamta, learned Advocates appearing for the
Respondent No.1 and the U.P.S.C. respectively, both contended that there are
different grades of teachers in the Higher Secondary Schools/Senior Secondary
Schools/Inter Colleges in the country which comprise of Classes VI to XII and
not all teachers teach students in Classes XI and XII which constitute the core
classes of the Higher Secondary Schools. It was further contended that the
interpretation of experience of 10 years teaching in Higher Secondary Schools
was meant to comprise such teaching experience of students belonging to the
Higher Secondary Section for the purpose of short listing of candidates for
selection to the post.
considered the submissions made on behalf of the respective parties, we see no
reason to differ with the views expressed by the High Court regarding the work
experience of the Respondent No.1 at the Higher Secondary level which was found
to be 10 years and 4 months, whereas the period of qualifying service was 10
years. The methodology adopted by the respondents in arriving at such finding
is fair and transparent and also reasonable. Furthermore, as has been pointed
out by the High Court, the Petitioner herein had not even prayed for quashing
of the appointment issued to the Respondent No.1 on 13th August, 2004, and his
prayer in the Original Application before the 13 Tribunal was limited to a
direction being given to the U.P.S.C. to appoint him to the post of Principal
in a Higher Secondary School in Pondicherry under the Scheduled Caste category
instead of the Respondent No.1 herein. In addition to the above, no opportunity
was also given to the Secretary, Education Department, Government of
Pondicherry, to answer the questions which had been raised by the Petitioner
before setting aside the appointment of the Respondent No.1 herein.
what is of cardinal importance is the fact that from the selection list
produced by the U.P.S.C., it will be seen that the Petitioner herein had been
placed at rank No.10 in the reserve list and even in the reserve list there
were three more candidates placed above him. Considering the same, in agreement
with the views expressed by the High Court, we are also not inclined to
interfere 14 with the order impugned and the Special Leave Petition is,
accordingly, dismissed, but without any order as to costs.