SC holds selection process cannot be quashed arbitrarily

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New Delhi, Oct 19 (UNI) The Supreme Court has held that the state cannot cancel the selection process arbitrarily inspite of the fact that even the selected candidate does not have a legal right to be appointed to the post.

A bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and H S Bedi while allowing the appeal of State of Madhya Pradesh challenging the High Court order allowing the writ petition of 130 candidates selected for the post of Assistant Teachers, noted in its judgement "the impugned judgement cannot be sustained which is set aside accordingly. However, keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, we direct that the respondents shall be entitled to relaxation of age in the event they intend to take part in the next selection process." The State is also directed to pay a sum of Rs 10,000 each to the respondents concerned. The appeals are allowed.

The selection process was initiated as per the eighth Five Year Plan under which the Government of India sponsored a project called 'Operation Blackboard' during 1992 - 1997.

Under the scheme, additional teachers were to be appointed in all primary/middle schools which had only one teacher in order to improve the standard of education.

State of Madhya Pradesh intended to appoint 7000 to 11000 teachers. The respondents Sanjay Kumar Pathak and others were appointed in Damoh district in Phase III and Phase IV.

State administrative tribunals declared the amendment to recruitment rules as illegal being violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.

The state government came to the Supreme Court in appeal against the order of the tribunal. The State High Court also dismissed the writ petition filed by the state holding that it cannot go into the merits of the matter in a petition under Article 226.

The apex court in its judgement also noted "furthermore ordinarily the writ court should not, in absence of any legal right, act on the basis of sympathy alone.

The tribunal, as also the High Court, did not call for the documents pertaining to the selection process.

No finding of fact has been arrived indicating that the respondents herein were bound to be selected and consequently appointed.

Whether all of them had fared better than the other candidates who had not approached the tribunal, had not been found.

As the selection process itself was not complete, there was nothing before the tribunal, as also the High Court, to indicate that they had acquired legal right of any kind whatsoever." UNI

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