& Ors Vs. State of Andhra
Pradesh & Ors
 Insc 219 (26
Babu & Doraiswamy Raju Rajendra Babu, J. :
894/99, C.A. Nos. 3094-3110/2002 [@ SLP(C) Nos. 8772-8788/2000 and C.A. No.
3093/2002 [@ SLP(C) No.7554/99]
APPEAL NO. 6461/1998 An original application was filed before the Central
Administrative Tribunal, Andhra Pradesh [hereinafter referred to as 'the
Tribunal'] by respondent No.5 for declaration of results of 1998 District
Selection Committee written test in Anantapur District, for declaration that it
is arbitrary, illegal and violative of Article 21 of the Constitution and for a
direction to declare the appropriate results. The Tribunal noticed that
originally examinations had been held on 19.4.1998 and 20.4.1998 in Anantapur
District to select secondary school teachers mainly for Language Pandit cadre.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh by an order made on 15.5.1998, after noticing
certain allegations of mass copying cancelled the examination of the District
Selection Committee in respect of Anantapur District and directed further
action being taken in the matter. Thereafter examinations were held on
11.7.1998. Results of the same were published on 29.7.1998 and interviews were
conducted on 27.8.1998. The Tribunal noticed that inasmuch as the Government
had already cancelled the examinations did not consider it fit to order an
enquiry into various lapses in Anantapur District and held that the main relief
to declare the results had become infructuous. On that basis, the Tribunal
disposed of the application. The matter was carried by way of a writ petition
before the High Court.
contentions raised before the High Court are that the Government had cancelled
examinations in Anantapur District on the basis of newspaper reports and such
issue has been raised on the floor of the Legislative Assembly; that there was
no other material, much less, legally acceptable to cancel examinations; that
the circumstances and the material are similar to other districts and following
the analogy of Anantapur District, the Government ought to have cancelled the
examinations in all the districts as they are similarly situated and in not
doing so, the Government had acted with discrimination; that the Tribunal ought
to have directed the publication of results in all the centres of Cuddapah, but
erred in withholding the delcaration of results even ignoring the report of the
Secretary to the School Education.
High Court found that an enquiry had been held in respect of other districts
and on the basis of the enquiry concluded that there was no need to cancel the
examinations en-mass, as disclosed in the letter dated 24.4.1998 sent by the
Deputy Secretary to the Chief Minister an enquiry report had been called for
but even in the absence of such an enquiry or report, the Government could not
have cancelled the examinations.
stand of the appellants is that on account of several representations and
complaints made by the candidates and write ups in the newspapers, the District
Collector, Anantapur District ordered an enquiry to be conducted by the
Superintendent of Police on 27.4.1998.
25.4.1998, Superintendent of Police submitted a report to the Collector
pointing out, inter alia, the following irregularities in the conduct of the
There was mass copying.
Staff appointed for invigilation was totally inexperienced.
concerned authorities did not appoint sufficient number of invigilators at
majority of examination centres.
Large number of Superintendents did not attend the duties on the examination
Several staff were appointed for examination duty only to assist their kith and
There was collusion between the invigilating staff and the candidates and
thereby the candidates were allowed to sit in the examination halls as they
Proper sitting arrangement in the examination centres was not made.
selection of examination centres itself was improper and that the concerned
authorities have ignored those centres with better facilities and had selected
private schools as examination centres.
Outsiders entered into the examination centres with active connivance of
invigilators and Superintendents.
the night of 18.4.1998, i.e. one day before the examination, photocopies of
question papers reached private coaching centres at different places and were
put on sale at a price of Rs.2,000/- each and copies of the question papers
were also published in 'Vartha' newspaper on 19.4.1998.
About half-an-hour after the examination commenced, key to the multiple choice
questions were photocopies and have reached many of the candidates.
Superintendent of Police also made available the photocopies of the question
papers. On the basis of the report of the Superintendent of Police, the
Collector made a report to the Government recommending cancellation of the
examinations and holding of fresh examinations.
High Court, however, felt that there was no distinction between the case of Anantapur
District and other districts. But it is not very clear from the material placed
before us whether letter of the Collector accompanied by the report of the
Superintendent of Police had been placed before the High Court or not. If the
letter and the report had been placed before the High Court, we are sure, the
High Court would not have reached the conclusion it did in the case of the Anantapur
matters of this nature, as to how the courts should approach is explained in
the Bihar School Examination Board vs. Subhas Chandra Sinha & Ors. 1970 (1)
SCC 618 and Board of High School & Intermediate Education, U.P., Allahabad vs. Ghanshyam Dass Gupta & Ors.
1962 Supp.(3) 36. The facts revealed above disclose not only that there was
scope for mass copying and mass copying did take place in addition to leakage
of question papers which was brazenly published in a newspaper and the
photocopies of the question papers were available for sale at a price of
Rs.2,000/- each. These facts should be alarming enough for any Government to
cancel the examinations whatever may be the position in regard to other centres.
It is clear that so far as the centre at the Anantapur District is concerned,
there was enough reason for the Government to cancel the examinations. We have
no doubt in our mind that what has weighed with the Government is the letter of
the Collector accompanied by the report of the Superintendent of Police, though
unfortunately the same does not seem to have been made available to the High
Court, which was the basis for making the order on 15.5.1998 cancelling the
examination and holding of the fresh examination.
even if it was not a case of mass copying or leakage of question papers or such
other circumstance, it is clear in the conduct of the examination, a fair
procedure has to be adopted. Fair procedure would mean that the candidates
taking part in the examination must be capable of competing with each other by
fair means. One cannot have an advantage either by copying or by having a
fore-knowledge of the question paper or otherwise. In such matters wide
latitude should be shown to the Government and the courts should not unduly
interfere with the action taken by the Government which is in possession of the
necessary information and takes action upon the same. The courts ought not to
take the action lightly and interfere with the same particularly when there was
some material for the Government to act one way or the other. Further, in this
case, the first examinations were held on 19.4.1998. The same stood cancelled
by the order made on 15.5.1998. Fresh examinations were held on 19.7.1998 and
results have been published on 29.7.1998. Interviews were however held on
29.7.98 in such cases. The events have taken place in quick succession. The
parties have approached the court after the further examinations were held and
after having participated in the second examination. It is clear that such
persons would not be entitled to get relief at the hands of the court. Even if
they had not participated in the second examination, they need not have waited
till the results had been announced and then approached the Tribunal or the
High Court. In such cases, it would lead to very serious anomalous results
involving great public inconvenience in holding fresh examinations for large
number of candidates and in Anantapur District alone nearly 1800 candidates
were selected as a result of the examinations held for the second time.
Therefore, we think, the High Court ought not to have interfered with the order
made by the Government on 15.5.1998 in cancelling the examinations and holding
appeal is allowed and the order made by the High Court in this regard shall
stand set aside by dismissing the writ petition and restoring the order of the
APPEAL NO. 894/1999 and CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3094-3110/ 2002 [@ SLP (C) Nos.
8772-8788/2000] Leave granted in S.L.P. (C) Nos. 8772-8788/2000.
High Court of Andhra Pradesh in a batch of writ petitions while dealing with
the appointment of teachers in the State of Andhra Pradesh also dealt with a Writ Petition No. 15463 of 1998 - Muthineni
Krishna Rao & Ors. vs. Union of India
& Ors. - and, inter alia, gave the following directions:-
the ratio laid down by this Court in L. Chandra Kumar vs. Union of India, 1997
(3) SCC 261, is the law of the land under Article 141 of the Constitution of
that in service matters covered by the Tribunals Act, the remedy of judicial
review should be first availed before the Administrative Tribunals before
approaching the High Court;
that Section 8 of the Tribunal Act fixing the tenure of appointment as five
years would be pro tanto unconstitutional and accordingly Section 8 of the
Tribunal Act is read down that the Chairman and the Vice Chairman shall hold
the office till the attainment of 65 years of age from the date of assumption
of office and the Members, both judicial and Administrative, shall hold the
office till the attainment of 62 years of age from the date of assumption as
that the sitting or retired High Court Judges shall also be considered for
appointment to the post of Vice Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Administrative
the advocates shall also be considered for appointment as Judicial Members as
also Vice Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal;
in the next vacancy, which is falling vacant in this week because of retirement
of Shri Kuppu Rao, Member of the Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, an
Advocate be considered in that place;
that the nodal agency as directed by this Court in L. Chandra Kumar's case
(supra) shall be constituted by the Government of India within a period of one
month from the date of receipt of a copy of this order;
in future, in the personnel appointed to man the Administrative Tribunals, the
experience on the service law jurisprudence and the concerned constitutional
provisions shall be one of the relevant considerations, which is one of the
elements of elevation of standards of such personnel;
Chandra Kumar's case (supra) this Court has already expressed its views on the
various questions examined by the High Court and in respect of which directions
have now been given by the High Court. All that we need to say is, it was not
proper for the High Court to have issued any of these directions, particularly
directions relating to the scheme of the Act. On that aspect in S.P. Sampath
Kumar Etc. vs. Union of India & Ors., 1987 (1) SCR 435, it was stated by
this Court :- "Section 8 of the Act prescribes the term of office and
provides that the term for Chairman, Vice-Chairman or members shall be of five
years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the
age of 65 in the case of Chairman or Vice-Chairman and 62 in the case of
member, whichever is earlier. The retiring age of 62 or 65 for the different
categories is in accord with the pattern and fits into the scheme in comparable
situations. We would, however, like to indicate that appointment for a term of
five years may occasionally operate as a dis-incentive for well- qualified
people to accept the offer to join the Tribunal. There may be competent people
belonging to younger age groups who would have more than five years to reach
the prevailing age of retirement. That fact that such people would be required
to go out on completing the five year period but long before the superannuation
age is reached is bound to operate as a deterrent.
who come to be Chairman, Vice-Chairman or members resign appointments, if any,
held by them before joining the Tribunal and, as such, there would be no scope
for their return to the place or places from where they come. A five year
period is not a long one. Ordinarily some time would be taken for most of the
members to get used to the service-jurisprudence and when the period is only
five years, many would have to go out by the time they are fully acquainted
with the law and have good grip over the job. To require retirement at the end
of five years is thus neither convenient to the person selected for the job nor
expedient to the scheme. At the hearing, learned Attorney-General referred to
the case of a member of the Public Service Commission who is appointed for a
term and even suffers the disqualification in the matter of further employment.
We do not think that is a comparable situation. On the other hand, membership
in other high-powered Tribunals like the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal or the
Tribunal under the Customs Act can be referred to. When amendments to the Act
are undertaken, this aspect of the matter deserves to be considered,
particularly because the choice in that event would be wide leaving scope for
proper selection to be made." So far as the creation of the nodal agency
is concerned, this Court in L.
Kumar's case (supra) stated as under :- "The suggestions that we have made
in respect of appointments to Tribunals and the supervision of their
administrative function need to be considered in detail by those entrusted with
the duty of formulating the policy in this respect. That body will also have to
take into consideration the comments of expert bodies like the LCI and the Malimath
Committee in this regard. We, therefore, recommend that the Union of India
initiate action in this behalf and after consulting all concerned, place all
these Tribunals under one single nodal department, preferably the Legal
Department." Steps have been taken by the Government of India to bring the
administration of various Tribunals under a single nodal agency and the views
of the State Governments and other departments are also being gathered and
majority of them are not in favour of the proposal keeping in view the unique
nature of functioning of Tribunals under their control.
receipt of the views from all the different departments, the Government of
India stated that 'they will review the matter'. In these circumstances, no
particular time could have been fixed by the High Court and the directions
issued by it in this regard are wholly unnecessary, particularly when this
Court is seized of the matter, it was wholly within its competence to monitor,
supervise, control and direct the Government in this regard and it is not at
all necessary for the High Court to take upon itself to issue such directions
and it should have appropriately left that matter to this Court. To say the
least, the High Court has engaged itself the role of a legislative body to
rescue those who are in distress by adopting this procedure. Further, when this
Court has explained the scheme of the enactment and expressed its views, no
directions could have been issued by the High Court on all those aspects and
the direction, in particular, in what manner the vacancies arising thereto
should be filled up on the retirement of Shri Kuppu Rao, Member of the Andhra
Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, was totally uncalled for.
High Court has been carried away by some kind of adventurism and virtually
tried to overreach what this Court has stated which course should have been
avoided at all costs. These appeals are allowed by setting aside the orders of
the High Court and dismissing the writ petitions.
APPEAL No 3093/2002 [@ SLP (C) No. 7554 of 1999] Leave granted.
Director of School Education in Andhra Pradesh issued a notification inviting
applications for filling up about 40 thousand posts of Secondary Grade Teachers
pursuant to which the appellants and others appeared for the said examination
held on 19.4.1998 under the relevant rules for holding the examination
prescribing minimum qualifying marks for being eligible for interview. Another
rule provides that number of candidates to be interviewed shall be thrice the
number of posts advertised. Since the requisite number of candidates could not
secure the prescribed minimum qualifying marks in the written examination, the
Government issued a notification G.O. Rt. No. 618 dated 18.5.1998 providing for
reduction of minimum qualifying marks prescribed under the relevant rules by
five marks with a view to ensure filling up of all posts of teachers before the
reopening of schools. Subsequently, the appellants were interviewed in
May/June, 1998 and on 13.8.1998 the appellants were selected and appointment
orders were issued in the proceedings of the Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad,
mass copying and leakage of question papers were reported in Anantapur
district, the Government having conducted an enquiry ordered re-examination in
that particular district alone. Under Rule 3 of the Recruitment Rules each
district is a unit with separate District Selection Committee and, as such, the
appellants, who belong to Khammam District, have nothing to do with the
irregularities reported or the consequent re-examination in the Anantapur
District. Several writ petitions had been filed questioning the selections on
the basis of aforesaid irregularities, the jurisdiction of Administrative
Tribunals for judicial review, etc. and some of the petitioners questioned the
constitutional validity of the notification which provides for reduction of
minimum qualifying marks in the written examination.
High Court by an order made on 16.10.1998 held the said notification G.O. Rt.
No. 618 dated 18.5.1998 to be illegal as the same was not issued in exercise of
rule making power under Sections 78 and 79 of the Andhra Pradesh Education Act,
1982, Section 169(4), 195(4) and 268 of the Andhra Pradesh Panchayats Act, 1994
or under the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution. The High Court felt
that the reduction of qualifying marks could have been done only by modifying
the relevant rule and not by exercise of powers other than what was contained
under the Andhra Pradesh Education Act. Apart from the selected candidates, the
Government of Andhra Pradesh has also filed appeals.
contended that under the Andhra Pradesh Direct Recruitment for posts of Teachers
(Scheme of Selection) Rules, 1994, Rule 13(a), which is also applicable to the
relevant selection, enables the Government to relax the conditions imposed
under the Recruitment Rules by reducing qualifying marks by five and hence, the
High Court could not have held the impugned action to be illegal. However, it
is not necessary to examine that aspect of the matter in the view we proposed
to take in the matter.
process had commenced long back as early as in 1998 and it had been completed.
The persons selected were appointed pursuant to the selections made and had
been performing their duties.
the selected candidates had not been impleaded as parties to the proceedings
either in their individual capacity or in any representative capacity. In that
view of the matter, the High Court ought not to have examined any of the
questions raised before it in the proceedings initiated before it. The writ
petitions filed by the concerned respondents ought to have been dismissed which
are more or less in the nature of a public interest litigation. It is not a
case where those candidates who could not take part in the examination had
challenged the same nor was any public interest, as such, really involved in
this matter. It is only in the process of selection and standardisation of pass
marks some relaxation had been given which was under attack.
the High Court ought not to have examined the matter at the instance of the
petitioners, particularly in the absence of the parties before the court whose
substantial rights to hold office came to be vitally affected.
another aspect that remains to be considered is in relation to the directions
issued by the High Court regarding carry forward of reservation. Before the
High Court a contention was raised that the implementation of the reservation
policy is perfunctory and there is no specification of posts for each of the
reserved categories. The classification of women, physically handicapped
candidates, Ex- serviceman had to be adjusted only within the respective
categories of OC, BC, SC and ST of 54%, 25%, 15% and 6% and there was serious
error in the same. After having noticed the various errors, the High Court
examined the matter with respect to Karimnagar District and found that the
reservations contained several anomalies which needed to be rectified. The
learned Government Pleader contended that as a result of carry forward system
certain excessive posts had been reserved, but the High Court found that for
the first time in G.O.Ms No. 65 carry forward system had been made available to
the posts which are the subject matter of the writ petitions filed before it
and, therefore, the question of carry forward for this selection does not arise
at all. Having said it, the High Court found that they do not want to disturb
the present selection process which has already been completed. In that event,
there was no need for the High Court to have given any directions for future
merely on the basis of hypothetical situation as to how the selection had to be
made and provide for the manner in which it should be given effect to. As and
when fresh selections are made, the same could be sorted out whether they are
in conformity with the appropriate provisions of law and the correct
reservation policy has been followed or not. For future no particular principle
could be set out in a judgment of this nature where nothing had been decided.
In the first place, the High Court held that the question does not arise for
consideration and in the second place, the selections made are not being
disturbed. Therefore, it is wholly uncalled for, for the High Court to have
given directions regarding reservations. Therefore, the directions given by the
High Court thereto shall stand set aside.
appeals shall stand allowed and the order made by the High Court shall stand
set aside and the writ petitions filed by the petitioners shall stand
dismissed. However, there shall be no order as to costs.
RAJENDRA BABU ] ...J.
DORAISWAMY RAJU ] APRIL 26, 2002.