Yadav Vs. State of Haryana (Mohan J.)  INSC 321 (12 May 1994)
S. (J) Mohan, S. (J) Agrawal,
1994 AIR 2166 1994 SCC (4) 165 JT 1994 (4) 45 1994 SCALE (2)889
Judgment of the Court was delivered by MOHAN, J.- Both these cases can be dealt
with under a common judgment since what arises for our consideration is the
validity of selection 168 of Taxation Inspectors by the Subordinate Selection
Board (hereinafter referred to as 'the Board'). The appellants are unsuccessful
Board issued an Advertisement bearing No. 5 of 1986 on 22-11-1986 inviting applications for 96 posts for Taxation
Inspectors in Excise and Taxation Department. Out of these 96 posts, 24 were
reserved for Scheduled Castes, 10 for Backward Classes and 17 for ex-Servicemen
minimum qualification was graduation of a recognised University or equivalent
and knowledge of Hindi up to Matric level. The selection was to be made on the
basis of written test of 250 marks and viva voce test. The candidate will not
be eligible unless he obtained 33 per cent marks in each subject and the
minimum of 40 per cent in the aggregate. In response to the advertisement many
candidates applied but for some reason the written test could not be conducted.
Board again advertised for the very same number of 96 posts of Taxation
Inspectors as per the Advertisement No. 3 of 1988 dated 7-7-1988. The reservation was as was done previously. The
other conditions and qualifications were also the same. It was mentioned in
this advertisement that those candidates who had earlier applied against
Board's Advertisement No. 5 of 1986 and were eligible according to the
prescribed qualifications, need not apply again. The previous applications
would be considered for these posts.
requires to be stated at this stage that the Board first allotted roll numbers
to the applicants who applied in 1986 then to the candidates who applied in
1988. The continuity of the roll numbers was maintained.
Board conducted the written examination at various centres in the State of Haryana on 17-12-1988 and 18-12- 1988. On receipt of the answer books from
different centres a key book was got prepared by the Secretary of the Board
with the help of the confidential branch. This key book contained the following
The name of the candidate with the parents' name.
The details of the subject of the written test.
Fictitious roll numbers were allotted to each candidate in the key book by
removing the original roll number slips.
the answer books were sent to different examiners for evaluation. After
examining the answer books, the examiners were required to prepare an award
list which is a summary indicating the fictitious roll number of the candidates
and the marks obtained by them in each subject.
receipt of the answer books the marks obtained by the candidates in each
subject were entered in the key book. On the basis of the key book award lists
and answer books, the result of the written test was prepared by the Board.
the same was published by displaying 'It on the Notice Board.
candidate who desired to get his answer book re- checked could do so within a
period of 30 days from the declaration of the result of written test only after
depositing the prescribed fee. Such a procedure was indicated in the rules.
This was also the practice prevalent in the Board.
However, strangely, the interviews were directed to take place on 3-10-1989
after the expiry of only 17 days.
interviews were held in three different centres:
three Interview Committees had to be constituted. Each Committee consisted of
two Board Members and one Advisor from Excise and Taxation Department. The
interviews went on till 12-10- 1989. About 200 candidates were to be
interviewed by each Committee on each day. The appellants claim that their
performance in the interviews was excellent. Therefore, if judged on the basis
of the written test and performance of the interview they ought to have been
selected on the basis of the merit.
Originally, Respondent 4, Anand Singh Dangi was the Chairman of the Board. He
resigned. After his resignation a new Chairman in his place was appointed by
the State Government. After the appointment of the new Chairman on the next day
the selection list for the post in question was finalised. That list was sent
to the Department secretly.
was in clear violation of the norms which requires publication on the Notice
Board so that it could be made known to the public. The selection list was kept
a highly secret document. The same was sent to the second respondent (the
Excise and Taxation Commissioner) by hand. Appointment letters were issued
after calling the selected candidates.
reports from all the selected candidates were obtained in Chandigarh on the
spot. Some of them were shown to have joined the respective place of posting.
No medical examination for selected candidates was conducted nor were their
antecedents got verified before actual appointment.
will clearly establish that favouritism, nepotism, unfairness and a good deal
of political influence played a vital role in this selection disregarding merit
reasons best known the original record including the answer books were
destroyed on 27-12-1989. This is attacked by the appellant
as an attempt to cover up the illegalities committed by the Board.
Primarily, on these allegations several writ petitions were filed before the
High Court of Punjab and Haryana. The facts as obtainable in CWP No. 7748 of
1990 were taken into consideration. The High Court was of the opinion that in
view of the fact that all answer sheets and the tabulation sheets having been
destroyed the allegations of the petitioners therein could not be ascertained.
The award of 100 marks for viva voce would work out to 28.5 per cent of 250
marks. This was not excessive. Ultimately, a direction was given not to fill in
beyond the advertised number of 96 posts. The other writ petitions came to be
dismissed applying the ratio of this judgment.
Aggrieved by the judgments dated 10-9-1990 and 10-8- 1990 passed by the High
Court in CWP No. 8286 of 1990 and CWP No. 8171 of 1990 Krishan Yadav and Ashok
Kumar, the appellants herein, have preferred Civil Appeal Nos. 726 and 727 of
view of the serious allegations made particularly the destruction of records
alleged to be for want of space this Court passed orders on 170 9-10-1991
directing the Government of Haryana to refer the matter to the CBI for
investigation and to complete the investigation within 3 months. The time for
completing the investigation was extended. The Superintendent of Police,
SPE/CBI/Chandigarh has filed a detailed report. We record the same.
The arguments on behalf of the appellants addressed by their learned counsel Mr
Gobinda Mukhoty and Mr A.K. Ganguli may be summarised thus. This is a clear
case in which various acts of nepotism and favouritism have been committed. The
whole selection is arbitrary. Very conveniently destruction of records is
the High Court has not given much attention to the allegations and examined the
veracity of these allegations. When the respondents sought cover under the
destruction of records that plea had come to be accepted.
result the appellants' allegations could not be verified. This is hardly the
way to render justice.
before this Court there is a report of the CBI.
will clearly establish how there is concerted fraud.
in authority have played truant with the fate of many candidates. There are overwritings
and interpolations in the selection list. Persons who did not attend the interview
have been awarded marks. Forgery has been committed. There are severa. cases
where the persons who took the viva voce have been declared absent in the final
selection list. Political influence has had a free hand.
the entire selection will have to be set aside.
opposition to this, Mr R.K. Garg, learned counsel for the selected candidates,
argued that they are not, in any manner, responsible for the alleged fraud or
"the sins of the others" should not be visited upon the selectees.
Even otherwise, as on today, they have rendered service for nearly 4 years. If
they are thrown out of the jobs now, they will be on the streets. It will work
great hardship. Therefore, the selections may be spared and the authorities
concerned may be pulled up for the lapses.
otherwise, the Court should so mould the relief as to protect the interest.
Should a further selection be directed the question of relaxation of age, may
also be considered.
is not possible for this Court to enter into the factual domain and decide the
case one way or other. We have already mentioned about recording the report of
will go only by that, as the report commends itself to acceptance. In our
considered opinion, the CBI has done a commendable job and has not failed to
call a spade a spade, without shielding anyone concerned including a Minister.
We will extract the following from the report setting out our conclusion at the
end of each extract:
The investigation has revealed that the interview sheets of some of the Board
Members were either blank or they had awarded their assessments in Alphabet A B
C. At Pinjore, interviews were to be conducted by the Chairman, Shri Nirpal
Singh Malik, Rao Inderpal and Shri H.M.L. Miglani. The interview sheets meant
for the Chairman Shri Nirpal Singh Malik were totally blank showing as if they
had not 171 recorded anything on the interview sheets. On all the dates only
one Member from the Board was present in the interview whereas Shri H.M.L. Miglani,
Advisor, remained present on all the dates. Shri Nirpal Singh Malik was never
seen by Shri Miglani at the interview centre. On the first day of the
interview, Shri Miglani had met Shri Dangi, Chairman at the interview centre
and he was asked by Shri Dangi to allot marks extra for additional
qualifications of Postgraduate/LL.B. etc.
he allotted marks on his interview sheet out of 25 and for those who had
additional qualifications, he had allotted 5 marks extra (to them). He did not
see Shri Puneet Jain attending the interview at Pinjore and he has not
interviewed him......" (Conclusion.- No interview) "In one of the
interview sheets, Shri Shakti Singh (Roll No. 6600) is shown to have been
interviewed by Shri Bachna Ram on 12-12-1989 whereas the same candidate has been
shown to have been interviewed on 19-10-1989 by S/Shri Samey Singh Kamboj and Rao
in one of the interview sheets, 4 candidates viz. S/Shri Ram Kumar (Roll No.
17859), Narender Singh (Roll No. 18540), Sumanshiv Rana (Roll No. 18851) and
Ram Singh (Roll No. 23101) have been shown to have been interviewed in Board's
Office by Shri Samey Singh Kamboj on 30-10-1989 whereas the same candidates
have also been shown to have been interviewed on 19-10-1989 by Rao Inderpal
Singh and Samey Kamboj, in the Board's Office......
Fake interview) "The relevant attendance sheet and other sets of interview
sheets did not contain the name of Shri Mohinder Singh and he had not appeared
in the interview at Karnal on 12-10-1989. The
Sheet No. 88 of interview sheets dated 12-10- 1989 for Pinjore was also typed
and prepared by Shri Bhupinder Pal Singh in April 1990.
S/Shri Samey Singh Kamboj and Rao Inderpal had signed this sheet after 6-4-1990 but they had backdated their signatures."
(Conclusion.- Ghost interview) "The records like key book, answer books
and award lists which could tell the marks obtained in the written test by the
candidates are not available with the Board. In view of this position, it is
not possible to contradict the marks of the written test shown in the 166 pages
list. The marks of interview have been shown in the interview sheets prepared
subsequently as well as in the 166 pages list. The scrutiny of these records
has revealed grave irregularities." Sr. Roll Marks shown in Marks of
interview No. No. interview sheet shown in 1
1906 Pen 9 pencil 8 8
2339 6 7
2734 5 9 172
2735 7 5
2739 6 7
Grave irregularities) "When the Board received notice from the Hon'ble
High Court for filing replies and for production of records, the entire record
of selection viz. key book, interview sheets, result of written test etc. were
available with Shri A.P. Jain and he used to keep the same in his Almirah. In
order to justify the selection made by the Board, S/Shri A.P. Jain and Bachna
Ram, with the active assistance of S/Shri Devi Dayal and Samey Singh Kamboj,
prepared and completed the record of selection for several days in the Board's
Office and they used to sit late hours in the office for the said
Fabrication of records) "It was some time in the month of November 1989
that Shri Rajiv Kumar Mahindra the then daily wages typist was called by Shri
A.P. Jain in his room and he was asked not to leave the office after 5 o'clock. In the evening, he came to the room of Shri A. P.
Jain when the staff hat left the office and Shri Jain gave him one attendance
sheet bearing the signatures of the candidates and he asked him to add the name
of his son Shri Puneet Jain in the said attendance sheet by typing out a fresh
attendance sheet. Accordingly, he typed out the names, addresses and other
particulars of the candidates and included the name of Shri Puneet Jain in that
sheet. He delivered all the copies of the said sheet including the original
attendance sheet to Shri A.P. Jain.
he showed him another set of the interview sheets used for the post of Taxation
Inspector and asked him to find out the relevant typewriter used for typing out
the said sheet. The said sheet contained the interview marks written in pencil.
He asked Shri Mahindra to bring the specimen impressions of all the typewriters
of the Typing Branch which he brought and the relevant typewriter was found out
and brought to the room of Shri A.P. Jain by Shri Mahindra. Shri Jain asked him
to type out the name, address and other particulars of Shri Puneet Jain under
the name of Shri Pawan Kumar in one copy of the interview sheet which contained
the marking in pencil. First, he typed out the said particulars after Shri Pawan
Kumar (Roll No. 9722) which was objected by Shri Jain who asked him to type out
the said particulars of Shri Puneet Jain under the other name of Shri Pawan
Kumar having Roll No. 9728. Accordingly, he again typed out the particulars of Shri
Puneet Jain under the name of Shri Pawan Kumar having Roll No. 9728 after
erasing the earlier one. In this way, he inserted the name of Shri Puneet Jain
in the relevant interview sheet of the Adviser for the post of the Taxation
Inspectors interview held on 6-10-1989 at Pinjore.
He had done so as he was working on daily wages under Shri A.P. Jain and he had
fear in his mind that his services would be terminated in case he did not
comply. One of the sheets typed by Shri Rajiv Mahindra by including the name
173 of Shri Puneet Jain was used by Shri A.P. Jain as attendance sheet. On this
sheet, Shri Puneet Jain put his genuine signatures in order to show as if he
attended the interview on 6-10-1989 at Pinjore and the signatures of the
remaining candidates were forged on the said attendance sheet. Seven such
signatures were forged by Shri Mahavir Sharma, daily wages worker who joined
the department on 2-5- 1990 which has been confirmed by the handwriting expert
also. Shri A.P. Jain asked Shri Mahavir Sharma that certain records pertaining
to Taxation Inspector were to be prepared for filing in the High Court and he
asked him to forge the signatures of certain candidates on the attendance sheet
which he did under his directions. For this purpose, he provided him the
original sheet on which the signatures of the original candidates existed. On
seeing the signatures from that sheet, he was asked to forge the signatures of
the candidates on the attendance sheet which was already available with Shri
A.P. Jain. He did this job in the room of Shri A.P. Jain in the late hours. Shri
A.P. Jain had also asked him to write down the marks in pencil against the name
of certain candidate on certain interview sheets. For this purpose, he gave him
rough sheet on which marking was already done and on that basis he was asked to
copy out the same in his handwriting in pencil on the other copies of the
interview sheets. He has also stated to have forged the signatures of Shri Rao Inderpal
on certain interview sheets but he does not remember whether those interview
sheets pertained to Taxation Inspectors or Patwaris. All the pencil markings on
Sheet No. 29 of the said set of interview sheets dated 6-10-1989 for Pinjore,
were written by him as stated by him. This sheet indicated the markings of
interview and marks obtained by the candidates including Shri Puneet Jain in
various examinations. He admitted having practised the signatures of Shri Rao Inderpal
on the back side of Sheet No. 6 of the office copy of the interview sheet dated
6-10-1989 for Pinjore. Similarly, pencil markings in Column Nos. 4 to 8 of
Sheet No. 77 of interview sheets dated 12-10-1989 of Hissar, were written by Shri
Mahavir Sharma under the directions of Shri Jain on the basis of the interview
sheet given to him. The additional sheets serially marked I to 4 attached with
the blank set of interview sheets dated 12-10-1989 of Hissar, were also written
by Shri Mahavir Sharma and these sheets indicated the names and other
particulars of the candidates interviewed at Hissar on 12-10-1989."
(Conclusion.- Forgery) "This note of Shri A.P. Jain indicated that all the
relevant records including the key book and award lists pertaining to the
written test for the posts mentioned in 26 categories of posts which included
the post of Taxation Inspectors at SI. No. I were available in the office on
2-2-1990. Thereafter, Shri A.P. Jain wrote letter dated 2-2-1990 to the Chief
Secretary, Government of Haryana mentioning therein that the reports received
within the Subordinate Services Selection Board revealed that there was nothing
outstanding against Shri A.S. Dangi. Thereafter, the 174 resignation of Shri
A.S. Dangi was accepted from the post of Chairmanship of the Board.
Dangi left the Board, no Chairman could be appointed by the Government for a
few months. Shri A.P. Jain, then used to receive the instructions directly from
the higher-ups and would execute the same (Conclusion.- Action at the behest of
higher- ups) "On 20-4-1990, Shri A.P. Jain sent another list of 12
candidates (7 general category, 2 SC category, 2 ex-Servicemen and I Backward
Class category) to the Excise & Taxation Commissioner for issuing
appointment letter to them. This list was received in the office of Excise and
Taxation Commissioner on 20-4-1990 at 5.50 p.m. This list included the name of Shri Mal Dev (Roll No.
15170) at S]. No. 5 under general category, who was related to Shri Tyagi, the
then State Minister of Haryana. In fact, Shri Tyagi had also forwarded a note
dated 23-4-1990 to the Excise and Taxation
Commissioner directing that all the 96 candidates sponsored by the Board should
be issued appointment letters irrespective of their categories. In other words,
he wanted the Excise and Taxation Commissioner to issue the appointment letter
to all the candidates of the general category also...." (Conclusion.-
Ministerial interference) "Out of the remaining 14 disputed candidates,
one candidate namely Shri Puneet Jain, Roll No. 9749 is the son of Shri A.P.
Jain, the then Secretary of the Board. The evidence on record clearly shows
that he had not appeared for the interview on 6-10-1989 at Pinjore as shown in the fabricated record and that he
has also been selected arbitrarily. Investigation has revealed that the
original relevant page of the interview sheet was removed from the record and
the same was replaced by a fabricated one. The typewriter impression of the
relevant page in the attendance sheet as well as in the interview sheet of the
member of the Board is the same whereas it is different from the typewriter
impression of the same page available in the Advisor's copy of the interview
sheet. Investigation has revealed that Shri A.P. Jain got a fresh sheet typed
much after the completion of the interview, from a daily wage worker by including
the name of his son Shri Puneet Jain and he got inserted the name of his son in
the Advisor's copy of the interview sheet (Conclusion.- Favouritism) The above
extracts unmistakably establish the "misdeeds" of the Board.
regard to all the above, the irresistible conclusion is "fraud has reached
its crescendo". Deeds as foul as these are inconceivable much less could
reminded of the words of Shakespeare:
much of this, will make Black, white; foul, fair; wrong, right; Base, noble;
Ha, you gods! why this?" (Timon of Athens, Act IV, Sc. 3) 17.It may not be
too much to draw an inference that all these were motivated by extraneous
how does one account for selection without interview, fake and ghost
interviews, tampering with the final records, fabricating documents, forgery?
Each of this would attract the penal provisions of Indian Penal Code.
have been done with impunity.
story does not end here. From out of the "selection list" secret
Communications have been sent to the candidates. Selections were made without
medical test or verification of antecedents.
is highly regrettable that the holders of public offices both big and s'mall
have forgotten that the offices entrusted to them are sacred trusts. Such
offices are meant for use and not abuse. From a Minister to a menial everyone
has been dishonest to gain undue advantages. The whole examination and the
interview have turned out to be farcical exhibiting base character of those who
have been responsible for this sordid episode. It shocks our conscience to come
across such a systematic fraud. It is somewhat surprising the High Court should
have taken the path of least Resistance stating, in view of the destruction of records,
that it was helpless. It should have helped itself. Law is not that powerless.
the above circumstances, what are we to do? The only proper course open to us
is to set aside the entire selection. The plea was made that innocent
candidates should not be penalised for the misdeeds of others. We are unable to
accept this argument. When the entire selection is stinking, conceived in fraud
and delivered in deceit, individual innocence has no place as "fraud
unravels everything". To put it in other words, the entire selection is
arbitrary. It is that which is faulted and not the individual candidates.
Accordingly we hereby set aside the selection of Taxation Inspectors.
effect of setting aside the selection would mean the appointments held by these
96 candidates (including the respondents) will have no right to go to the
speaking, we should require them to disgorge the benefit of these ill-gotten
gains. That means they will have to repay the entire salary and perks which they
have received from the said office. But, here we show a streak of sympathy. For
more than 4 years they were enjoying the benefit of "office". The
proper lesson would be learnt by them if their appointments are set aside
teaching them that dishonesty could never pay.
The next question is what is the future course of action? It is hereby ordered:
fresh selection shall be made for 96 posts of Taxation Inspectors.
candidates who had applied in response to Advertisement No. 3 dated 7-7-1988 and who were found eligible will be entitled to take
such an examination.
total marks for written examination shall be 200.
The total marks for viva voce shall be 25 that is not more than 12 1/2 per cent
as has been laid down in Mohinder Sain Garg v. State of Punjabi with reference to the very post.
The advertisement announcing the fresh examination shall be issued immediately,
fixing the last date as 30-6-1994.
as to the acceptance of applications and the schedule of the examination shall
be given on or before 16-8- 1994.
examination shall commence in as many centres as required from 1-9-1994.
evaluation shall be completed before 31-10-1994.
marks obtained shall be published in three prominent dailies having large
circulation in the State of Haryana in addition to the display on the Notice
number of candidates called for viva voce shall not exceed three times the
number of posts to be filled.
viva voce shall commence from 7-11- 1994 and be completed by 25-11-1994. The
final analysis of the tabulated results shall be submitted to this Court on or
before 10- 12-1994.
make it clear that not one of the persons connected with the present
examination shall be allowed to have anything to do with the previous
examination. We expect strict compliance with this order. Under no
circumstances will there be an extension of time in this regard. The State
shall endeavour its best to see that the examinations are conducted fairly
without giving any room for any complaint.
necessary, it could have an independent body or agency in order that it may
infuse confidence and make people believe that the misdeeds complained of in
this case constitute an isolated chapter and a thing of past.
we have accepted the CBI report we direct that necessary prosecutions be
launched early against all concerned however high or low they may be in the
hierarchy of officialdom. The State Government will do well to grant the
necessary sanctions if so required without undue delay. The Chief Secretary of
the State of Haryana shall pay his best attention to this.
candidates like the appellants have suffered immensely in view of the arbitrary
selection. They have been waging battles relentlessly. They should be
compensated adequately. We think the least that we could do, is they should be
compensated at least in a small way.
we impose a cost of Rs 10,000 (Rs Ten thousand only) on each of the Respondents
I to 4 1 (1991) 1 SCC 662: 1991 SCC (L&S) 555 :(1991) 16 ATC 495 177 making
it clear that each member of the Selection Board shall pay out of person and
the same shall not be debited to the account of the State. Normally, we should
have awarded costs against A.P. Jain who is the archvillain as per the report
of the CBI but unfortunately he is not impleaded as a party. But we are
comforted by the thought that the long arm of law will not fail to reach him.
The award of cost is only to express our profound displeasure on this unjust
and arbitrary selection.
these efforts by us are aimed at cleansing the public administration. No doubt,
it may be stupendous task but we do hope this small step will make great
strides in the days to come. Accordingly, the appeals stand allowed.