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Constitution confers an equal right upon all the qualified individuals to seek employment to public offices through Articles 14, 16 and 309: The High Court of Delhi

Adherence to the rule of equality in public employment is a basic feature of our Constitution and since the rule of law is the core of our Constitution, a court would certainly be disabled from passing an order upholding a violation of Article 14 or in ordering the overlooking of the need to comply with the requirements of Article 14 read with Article 16 of the Constitution. Therefore is necessary to hold that unless the appointment is in terms of the relevant rules and after a proper competition among qualified persons, the same would not confer any right on the appointee. The aforementioned has been laid down by the Apex Court in the case of Secretary, State of Karnataka & Ors. v. Uma Devi & Ors.; (2006) 4 SCC 1 has laid the premise by the Delhi High Court to be followed in the case of Saroj Kumar Nayak & Ors v. Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation on India Limited [W.P.(C) 5453/2020, CM Nos. 19659/2020 & 340/2021] which was decided by a single judge bench comprising Justice V. Kameswarrao on 21st June 2021.

The facts of the case are as follows. The petitioners were appointed as senior assistants and junior assistants. Though, the appointments were with the nomenclature “on contract basis” but for all purposes it was a regular appointment except the fact that the remuneration that is being paid, is not that of a regular appointee. In 2019, the respondent gave an advertisement to fill up various posts on direct recruitment basis. It is their case that as they are eligible and have been performing their duties sincerely / diligently hence are entitled to be regularized on the posts on which they are working. It was also stated that an advertisement had been issued on November 15, 2019 against which petitioner Nos.1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 had applied for the posts of Deputy Manager, Senior Accountant and Sales Executive. Consequent upon completion of all the procedure, the final result of the direct recruitment process and Computer Based Tests (‘CBT’ for short) were announced on March 23, 2021, wherein it was found except Deepak Kumar who has been shortlisted in the waiting list category for the post of Sales Executive, none of the other petitioners are successful in the selection process. The counsels from both the sides relied on several judgments to prove their side of the contention.

The court conducted an in depth perusal of the facts and arguments presented in the case. The court relied on the judgment passed in the case of Secretary, State of Karnataka & Ors. v. Uma Devi & Ors.; (2006) 4 SCC 1 which upheld that public appointment has to be in terms of the constitutional scheme, on regular basis and also following the recruitment rules.it laid emphasis to the rule of equality while addressing such issues of public employment. It outrightly declared the judgments relied upon by the petitioners as being redundant in the instant case. It declared that there exists no merit in the instant case and stated that “I am afraid that such a submission cannot be accepted in view of my discussion above based on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Secretary, State of Karnataka & Ors. (supra) and also the fact that the petitioners 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 having applied for appointment to various posts pursuant to a notification of 2019 and being unsuccessful (except one petitioner who is in waiting list), the reliefs as prayed cannot be granted. Suffice to state, the Judgments relied upon are distinguishable on facts. 35. In view of my discussion above, I find the contesting petitioners are not entitled to any relief. There is no merit in the petition, the same is dismissed.”

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