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Dilwan Singh & Ors Vs. State of Haryana & Ors [1996] INSC 450 (25 March 1996)

Ramaswamy, K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)

CITATION: JT 1996 (4) 248 1996 SCALE (3)553



WITH CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 6888-90 OF 1996 (Arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 21297-99 of 1994)

O R D E R Though the respondents were served is SLP (C) No.21297- 99/94, respondents 1 and 4 appear through counsel. In respect of respondents 2 and 3, neither A.D. Card nor unserved original notice have been received back. Under those circumstances, they must be deemed to have been served.

Leave granted.

It is contended by Shri Mahabir Singh, learned counsel for the appellants that the selection Board has adopted a policy of calling the ex-servicemen and the dependent children of the ex-servicemen together to consider their cases for recruitment according to merit which would stand an impediment to the ex-servicemen. We find force in the contention. The object of reservation of the ex-servicemen is to rehabilitate them after their discharge from the defence services. As per the instructions issued by the State Government, in the absence of availability of the ex- servicemen instead of keeping those posts unfilled, the dependent children, namely, son or daughter of ex-servicemen would also to be considered. The object thereby would be that the Selection Board should first consider the claims of the ex-servicemen and have their eligibility considered independently it the first instance before the claims of the dependent children of the ex-servicemen are considered. If they are found eligible and selected, for the balance unfilled posts, the selection should be done from among the dependent children of the ex-servicemen.

The other question that arises in this case is: whether the contesting respondents have satisfied the requirement as dependants of the ex-servicemen? The Government of Haryana have clarified in their letter dated November 2], 1980 bearings No,12/37/79/GSII that the Government have taken a policy decision on July 1, 1980 and given instructions to recruit the children, i.e. dependent sons or daughters of ex-servicemen who fulfill all the conditions of qualifications, age and other criteria prescribed for the post; they may be considered on merits for the posts reserved for the ex-servicemen to the unfilled posts. It was confined initially only to dependent children When clarification was sought for, various criteria have been suggested to identify the defendants. The Government have examined the matter and found that only an unemployed person who is a member of the point family and contributes to the pool of the family income by lending help or a person who has already done has graduation or is doing post-graduation and getting merit scholarship for the studies is also eligible to be considered for appointment. In appeals @ SLP (C) No.21297-99/94, it is specifically averred that the contesting respondents have not fulfilled the criteria referred to hereinbefore and that, therefore, they are not eligible to be considered.

Counter-affidavit has been filed on behalf of the respondent-Selection Board contending that the Sainik Board had issued a certificate stating that they are the dependants of the ex-servicemen. On that basis, they had become eligible for consideration. The Board had accepted the same. It did not have any source for independent verification and, therefore, they have accepted them as dependants. We are of the view that the Board is not justified in law to take such a stand. The Board being the recruiting agency, it is its duty to verify and find out whether a candidate who has laid his claim as a dependant son or daughter of the deceased ex-servicemen, fulfilled the criteria referred to earlier for recruitment to the vacancies reserved for unfilled posts of ex-servicemen. On being satisfied, the other consideration has to be looked into and selection process could be made and candidates are selected according to prescribed procedure. It being the primary duty of the Selection Board, it cannot abdicate its function by merely relying on certificate issued by the Sainik Board which is only a recommending authority certifying that the candidate as a dependent of the ex- servicemen It may be accepted only a Prima facie evidence.

The certificate does not ipso facto became conclusive nor would it entitle the candidate to be considered as a dependant of the ex-servicemen. It would be for the Board to examine and in case of any doubt, it should call upon the candidate to satisfy the Board that the candidate is dependant and fulfills the requirements prescribed in the guidelines. That was not done in these cases.

Under these circumstances, the appeals are allowed.

There shall be a direction to the first respondent to call upon the candidates to satisfy the requirements referred to hereinbefore and then- process their applications according to law and consider their cases against the unfilled posts reserved for the ex-servicemen within a period of six weeks from the date of the receipt of this order. No costs.


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