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Siddharth Sharma v. Union Of India Thru' Secy. Min. Of Defence New Delhi & Ors. - WRIT - A No. 41213 of 2003 [2005] RD-AH 1155 (27 April 2005)


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Siddharth Sharma      Vs.     Union of India and others


Hon'ble Tarun Agarwala, J.

On 4.11.2000 an advertisement was issued for recruitment on a Group-D post. The petitioner applied and appeared in the written and typing test and was thereafter, called for an interview. However, the results were not declared, as in the meanwhile, the Government had issued an order imposing a ban on the recruitment in Government employment. The petitioner vide letter dated 13.12.2002 requested the respondents to declare the results. In response to the aforesaid letter, the respondents by a letter dated 23.12.2002 informed the petitioner that the recruitment process has been kept in abeyance on account of the ban imposed by the Government. Consequently, the present writ petition has been filed. The petitioner further stated that subsequently, an advertisement dated 24.6.2003 had been issued for the recruitment of Lower Division Clerks. Consequently, the petitioner filed the present writ petition for the quashing of the advertisement dated 23.6.2003 and for an issue of a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to declare the result pursuant to the first advertisement dated 4.11.2000. A counter affidavit has been filed by the respondents stating therein that the recruitment process was kept in abeyance pursuant to the ban imposed by the Government. The validity of the recruitment process was valid till 31.3.2001 and since the ban was not lifted prior to that date, the entire process came to an end and died an automatic death. Consequently, after the ban was lifted a fresh advertisement was issued.

The learned counsel for the respondent submitted that the issuance of a fresh advertisement was not illegal and that the petitioner did not have any right to challenge the said advertisement.

Heard Sri B.B.Jauhari, the learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri N.K. Chatterji, the learned counsel appearing for the respondents.

The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that he had a fundamental right to know the result of the examination and of the interview that was held pursuant to the advertisement dated 4.11.2000 and if the petitioner had qualified in the examination, then he was entitled to be given an appointment. For the said reasons, the subsequent advertisement dated 23.6.2003 was ex-facie illegal and was liable to be quashed. In support of his submission the learned counsel for the petitioner relied upon a decision of a Division Bench of this Court in the case of State of U.P. and another Vs. Rakesh Kumar, 2003[50] ALR 581 wherein a select list of four persons was prepared but could not be executed, as in the meanwhile a ban was imposed by the State Government on the recruitment process. This court held that after the lifting of the ban, the person in the select list was entitled to be given an appointment on account of the promise held out to him by the Government on the basis of the doctrine of promissory estoppel. This Court held that the incumbent was entitled for an appointment after the lifting of the ban by the Government.

In my view, the decision cited by the learned counsel for the petitioner is distinguishable for the reason that in the aforesaid case, a select list was already in existence whereas, in the present case, there is no such select list. Even otherwise in Shankarsan Dash v. Union of India, 1991[3] SCC-47 a Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court held-

" It is not correct to say that if a number of vacancies are notified for appointment and adequate number of candidates are found fit, the successful candidates acquire an indefeasible right to be appointed which cannot be legitimately denied. Ordinarily the notification merely amounts to an invitation to qualified candidates to apply for recruitment and on their selection they do not acquire any right to the post. Unless the relevant recruitment rules so indicates, the State is under no legal duty to fill up all or any of the vacancies. However, it does not mean that the State has the licence of acting in an arbitrary manner. The decision not to fill up the vacancies has to be taken bonafide for appropriate reasons. And it the vacancies or any of them are filled up, the State is bound to respect the comparative merit of the candidates, as reflected at the recruitment test, and no discrimination can be permitted. This correct position has been consistently followed by this Court, and we do not find any discordant note in the decisions in State of Haryana v. Subhash Chander Marwaha, Neelima Shangla v. State of Haryana, or Jatendra Kumar v. State of Punjab."

In All India SC & ST Employees' Association and another v. A. Arthur Jeen and others, [2001]6 SCC 380 the Supreme Court held-

" Merely because the names of the candidates were included in the panel indicating their provisional selection, they did not acquire any indefeasible right for appointment even against the existing vacancies and the State is under no legal duty to fill up all or any of the vacancies."

Similar view was followed by the Supreme Court in Ludhiana Central Cooperative Bank Ltd. v. Amrik Singh and others, 2003[10] SCC136, S.Renuka and others v. State of A P and another, 2002 SCC[5] 195, Sabita Prasad and others v. State of Bihar and others, 1993 [1] SLR-44, State of Andhra Pradesh and others v. D.Dastagiri and others, 2003[3] ESC 291.

In view of the aforesaid, it is clear that a successful candidate does not acquire any indefeasible right to be appointed against an existing vacancy. In the present case, the results have not been declared. It is not known whether the petitioner would come in the select list or not. Since, the process of appointment pursuant to the advertisement dated 4.11.2000 was valid till 31.3.2001 and the period having expired, it was no longer open to the respondents to declare the results, inasmuch as no recruitment could have been done after the expiry of the validity period of the recruitment process. Thus, in view of the aforesaid, no useful purpose would be served in declaring the result.The writ petition fails and is dismissed. However, in the circumstances of the case, there shall be no order as to cost.

Dt.April 27, 2005



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