Mere name in the selection list doesn’t guarantee appointment: Supreme Court

In the case of Commissioner of Police and Anr. Versus Umesh Kumar [Special leave petition (c) 5545/2019], the Supreme Court discerned that mere inclusion of one’s name in the selection list doesn’t inflict upon them or the fact that he/she will be appointed. The acumen was passed by the Honorable Justice Dr. Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud. J on Wednesday, 07 October 2020.

The respondent after applying and qualifying for the post of ‘Constable (Executive) – Male’, was allotted roll number for appearing in the written examination. The written examination after being cancelled twice, was re-conducted on 16 November 2014. The respondents were selected after all the qualifying criteria were duly fulfilled and were directed to report to the DCP – Recruitment cell, Delhi for further ‘codal formalities’. Further while basic training commenced, the candidates were directed complete the documents, to facilitate the issuance of offers of appointment.

The appellants before the Tribunal challenged the answer keys in the written examination and claimed that they had not obtained marks for correct answers for 8 questions resulting in abeyance and non-issuance of appointment. The expert committee found typographical errors in the answer keys and directed

“ …in view of the statements made by the respondents that further action regarding the recruitment process will be taken as per the recommendations of the Expert Committee, and that till date no candidate has been given appointment for the post in question, and, considering the vagueness of the statements made by the respondents, we deem it just and proper to direct the respondents to ensure submission of the report by the said Expert Committee within one month from today, if such report has not yet been submitted by the Expert Committee, and to take further necessary action regarding the recruitment process within two months from today. Ordered accordingly.”

After revising the results, the candidates were selected and five vacancies could not be filled up due to unavailability of suitable candidates. The cut of marks for OBC after re-evaluating was 79.49134 but that of two respondents were 77.514 & 77.271.  After the vacancies were  filled by as per the new cut-off list, Umesh file a writ petition in the Delhi High court.

The ASG asserted that the re-evaluation was duly done and that respondent didn’t achieve the required cut-off marks. It was reiterated that the resignation of Umesh from the Railway Protection Force was no ground of issuance of appointment by the Delhi High Court by the writ of Mandamus.

“This process of the revision of the result was then unsuccessfully challenged in the first batch of OAs before the Tribunal, and subsequently the writ petitions under Article 226 before the High Court were also dismissed as not pressed. The flip-flops which took place were undoubtedly because of the failure of the authorities to notice initially the norm of allotting 1 bonus mark based on height and due to the failure to prepare a proper answer key. Such irregularities have become a bane of the public recruitment process at various levels resulting in litigation across the country before the Tribunals, the High Courts and ultimately this Court as well.”

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