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sc india

Commission cannot relegate an employee without hearing him: Supreme Court

Relegating an employee from a particular department of service after particularly long years of service and without being heard is not just against the principle of natural justice but also has adverse civil consequences. This remarkable judgement was passed by the bench consisting of Justice Hemant Gupta, Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice L. Nageswara Rao of the Supreme Court in the matter of Subhash Kumar v The State of Bihar & Ors., [WRIT PETITION(CIVIL) NO(S). 798 OF 2020].

The present petition had been filed by the petitioner after him providing 15 years of service had been shifted from Bihar Administrative Service to Bihar Education Service without even being heard. further, the respondent had allegedly given the same exam as the petitioner but could not clear it claiming that a particular subject of General Studies- II had not been checked correctly. The court was convinced of the same and due to the court’s order, the petitioner had suffered. Thus, The respondent and petitioner had together approached the court with this petition.

The petitioner argued that him being shifted from the administrative services to the education services without being heard was 2in violation of the principles of natural justice and in disregard of the order of this Court dated 23rd October, 2019. Further, the counsel for the petitioner argued that the petitioner had no demur regarding appointment of the respondent who had finally succeeded in his own rights on dismissal of the appeal

On the other hand, the counsel for the respondents opined that the commission had no option but to revise the select list in light of the order passed by the court on 23rd October, 2019. Due to the list being revised, the respondent was appointed according to his merit but the petitioner being last in the open category in Bihar Administrative Service was shifted from the Administrative Service to the Education Service.]

The court held, “there was no justification left for the Commission to hold an exercise and revise the select list of 45th Combined Competitive Examination held pursuant to the advertisement dated 29th December, 2001 and acted upon in 2005 after a lapse of 15 years at the same time the case of Baldeo Choudhary being sui generis was to be considered for appointment w.e.f. 29th November, 2012 in terms of the revised recommendations made by the Commission qua him without disturbing the cadre/seniority of the persons including the petitioner in Bihar Administrative Service to which he was otherwise entitled for in compliance of the order of this Court dated 23rd October, 2019 assigning him seniority and the consequential benefits etc. w.e.f. 29th November, 2012.

The respondents in our view, were not at all justified in passing of the order impugned dated 23rd July, 2020 which was neither observed by the Division Bench of the High Court nor expressed by this Court in its order dated 23rd October, 2019 relegating the petitioner from Bihar Administrative Service to Bihar Education Service after he had rendered 15 years’ of substantive service in the cadre of Bihar Administrative Service”.

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