Supreme Court Decides in Favor of Citizens’ Job Security, Rejects State’s Attempt to Endanger Careers

Case Name: Deependra Yadav and Ors v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors 

Case No.: Special Leave Petition (C) No. 5817 of` 2023 

Dated: May 1, 2024 

Quorum: Justice C.T. Ravikumar and Justice Sanjay Kumar 



The case’s circumstances are such that a single misstep by the State was all it took to start this lawsuit, which will affect a large number of job seekers in the state of Madhya Pradesh. A service regulation that had been in place before was altered on February 17, 2020, and then recalled on December 20, 2021, returning it to its previous state. During this interim period, the changed rule was implemented to a hiring procedure that was still in progress. This led to numerous challenges before the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur, which produced a number of rulings and directives that eventually led to the matters that are currently before us. 

For the purpose of selecting candidates for 571 vacancies in the State services, the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission (MPPSC) published an advertisement on November 14, 2019, suggesting that candidates follow the Madhya Pradesh State Service Examination Rules, 2015 (abbreviated as “the Rules of 2015”).  

Under the proviso to Article 309 of the Indian Constitution, the Rules of 2015 were formulated in the exercise of power. A preliminary exam, main exam, and interviews were all part of the Madhya Pradesh State Service Examination-2019 that the MPPSC planned to hold in order to fill these positions.  

On January 12, 2020, the preliminary examination was conducted. The preliminary examination was registered by 3,64,877 candidates in total, however only 3,18,130 of those candidates showed up for it. At that point, the State of Madhya Pradesh revised Rule 4 of the Rules of 2015 on February 17, 2020. Before the alteration and to the extent that it is relevant for the purposes of this adjudication. 

It was unexpected that the revised Rule 4 was used in the current hiring procedure for the 571 announced open positions. On December 21, 2020, the results of the preliminary examination that was held on January 12, 2020, were announced using the revised Rule 4. Meritorious candidates from the reserved category were therefore displayed exclusively in their designated reservation categories, and there was no separation of them from those from the unreserved category. On the basis of this, 10,767 individuals passed the preliminary examination. 

During this time, certain candidates contested the provisions of the modified Rule 4(3)(d)(III) of the Rules of 2015 in a series of writ cases filed with the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur. The High Court ruled in those cases that the hiring procedure that was started in response to the preliminary examination result dated 21.12.2020 would continue to be contingent on the resolution of the writ petitions by means of an interim order dated 22.01.2021. 

In accordance with this, the MPPSC held the Madhya Pradesh State Service Examination-2019 main exam from March 21–26, 2021. In the meantime, the State of Madhya Pradesh modified the Rules of 2015 once again on December 20, 2021.  

Despite this modification, the MPPSC announced on December 31, 2021, the results of the primary examination, which took place between March 21 and 26, 2021, and the 1918 candidates who met the eligibility requirements for interviews on a provisional basis. On April 7, 2022, a Division Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur, however, partially granted the writ petitions that were still pending. It was approved by a knowledgeable judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. 



It was contended that a Division Bench of the High Court received an appeal from three of the petitioners in SLP (C) No. 5817 of 2023, who were upset by this ruling. By ruling on January 25, 2023, in Writ Appeal No. 1706 of 2022, the Division Bench denied the appeal, concluding that the learned Judge’s order was reasonable, correct, and well-reasoned and did not require intervention. 

The appellants also contended that the Madhya Pradesh State Service Examination Rules, 2015, had their Rule 4 amended on February 17, 2020, and then repealed on December 20, 2021. The appellants contested this change. The argument put forth was that the recruitment procedure should not have been subject to the modified rule. 

It was their contention that the recruitment process, which commenced on November 14, 2019, with an advertisement for 571 vacancies, was unfairly affected by the modified rule. On January 12, 2020, a preliminary examination was conducted as part of this process. 

The arguments put up by the appellants most likely concerned the interpretation of constitutional clauses, including the proviso to Article 309 of the Indian Constitution, which provided the framework for the Rules of 2015. 



The respondents argued that an ongoing hiring procedure was impacted when the State of Madhya Pradesh changed an already-existing service rule that was later recalled. Application to Recruitment: A number of legal issues resulted from the application of the modified rule to the 571 posts that were recruited. 

The Madhya Pradesh State Service Examination Rules, 2015 underwent a recall on December 20, 2021, following the revision of Rule 4 on February 17, 2020. The state also contended that Accordingly, the Madhya Pradesh State Service Examination-2019 main exam was conducted by the MPPSC from March 21–26, 2021. Meanwhile, on December 20, 2021, the State of Madhya Pradesh changed the Rules of 2015 once more.  

The lawsuit was started as a result of the modified rule being applied to the hiring process, which was already in progress. On January 12, 2020, a large number of candidates took part in the preliminary exam for the Madhya Pradesh State Service Examination-2019. 

The learned counsel for the repondent also contended that The preliminary examination results, which were revealed on January 12, 2020, were made public on December 21, 2020, utilising the updated Rule 4. This meant that deserving candidates from the reserved category were only shown in the reservation categories that they were assigned, and there was no distinction between them and applicants from the unreserved field. Based on this, 10,767 people were able to pass the initial test. 



The court noted that Madhya Pradesh’s government moved forward based on the results announced following normalisation and that it also gave appointment orders to the chosen applicants, allowing them to begin serving. About the seven petitioners in SLP (C) No. 5817 of 2023, the MPPSC said that only three of them were qualified to take the main examination because they had passed the preliminary exam, according to the pre-revised result dated 21.12.2020. 

Nevertheless, two of them showed up for the primary exam but failed, while one of them did not. Following that, all seven of them were deemed eligible based on the results of the televised preliminary test, which was released on October 10, 2022. However, they were found to be ineligible for the special main examination and the subsequent normalisation process, which was announced on May 18, 2023. 

Notably, the High Court acknowledged that Vaishali Wadhwani and other petitioners had somewhat succeeded in their case because their writ petitions were partially granted by the ruling, which also instructed the MPPSC to combine and harmonise the two lists—the outcome of the special main examination and the first main examination. A Writ was filed before a Division Bench of the High Court, as previously mentioned, challenging the MPPSC’s exact identical judgement. The appeal is currently being reviewed.  

Significantly, the applications submitted by Vaishali Wadhwani and associates, aiming to lift the stay of the judgement of August 23, 2023, were rejected, and their challenge to the ruling was not entertained.  

Additionally, the court pointed out that following the dismissal of the review petitions, the ruling in Kishor Choudhary (previous) was not challenged before this Court. It provided instructions on how to conduct and finish the examination process in compliance with the 2015 Rules as they were written. The later ruling in Harshit Jain (above) supported the process of conducting a special main examination for applicants under the reservation category who were deemed eligible after the preliminary examination result was revised in accordance with the unamended Rules of 2015.  

Based on the aforementioned consideration, the court determined that there is no basis for interference with the contested judgement, dated January 25, 2023, issued by the Division Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur in a Writ Appeal, either on the basis of facts or the law. Because of this, the civil appeal resulting from the current case was deemed to be without merit and was thus rejected. 


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Judgment reviewed by Riddhi S Bhora. 


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