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Vacating Order of status quo due to withdrawal of application, not a justifiable ground: Supreme Court of India

The ground on which the Tribunal vacated the Interim Order was that the Applicants had withdrawn their respective cases, since they were desirous of pursuing their representations with the State Government. This could also not be a justifiable ground for vacating the Order of status quo merely because other parties had chosen to withdraw their O.A. for their own reasons. This assertion was made by the Supreme Court of India presided by J. Indu Malhotra, J. L. Nageswara Rao and J. Vineet Saran in the case of Gajanan Babulal Bansode & othrs. vs. State of Maharashtra & othrs. [CIVIL APPEAL NO. 104 OF 2021].

The Government of Maharashtra issued a requisition to the Maharashtra Public Service Commission to conduct the Limited Departmental Competitive Examination for selection of candidates to the post of Police Sub Inspector. The Home Department, Government of Maharashtra vide Government Circular notified 828 vacancies, out of which 642 were from the open category, and 186 were from various reserved categories, for promotion to the post of Police Sub-Inspector through the LDCE– 2016. The selection was governed by the provisions of the Police Sub Inspector Rules, 1995. The MPSC recommended the names of 828 candidates, out of which 642 were from the open category, who had secured 253 marks and above; and 186 candidates were from the various reserved categories, who had secured 230 marks and above, on the basis of the corrected final result was declared. The Home Department, Government of Maharashtra vide a Government Resolution notified that the Cabinet had taken a policy decision to accommodate 636 additional candidates who had secured more than 230 marks in examination. The Deputy Secretary of the MPSC addressed a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary Government of Maharashtra wherein it was stated that as per Article 320 of the Constitution, the MPSC has the power to appoint candidates to various posts in the State. The post of Police Sub-Inspector being a Class III post, was required to be filled up in accordance with The Police Sub-Inspector Rules, 1995. The list of 636 additional was notified by the Government on its official website, had been done without consulting the MPSC, which was a serious irregularity, and would hamper the functioning of the Commission.

The honorable court held, “The third ground on which the Tribunal has vacated the Interim Order was that in similar O.As challenging the same G.R. including O.A. No. 455 of 2019 filed before the Principal Bench, the Applicants in those cases had withdrawn their respective cases, since they were desirous of pursuing their representations with the State Government. This could also not be a justifiable ground for vacating the Order of status quo merely because other parties had chosen to withdraw their O.A. for their own reasons.’ We find that the High Court in the present Writ Petition has issued a direction to the State to send the additional list of 636 candidates for training of 9 months during the pendency of proceedings before the Tribunal. We are of the view that such a direction ought not to have been passed in the Writ Petition filed by the present Petitioners, who are aggrieved by the impugned Government Resolution No. Police -1818/ File 355/Pol 5A, which is the subject matter of challenge.”

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