The tribunal did not direct the use of a waitlist to fill vacancies in Permanent commission: Delhi High Court.

Case title: Maj Vishal Vs Union Of India And Ors.

Case no.: W.P.(C) 15908/2023

Decided on: 08.02.2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Justice V. Kameswar Rao, Hon’ble Justice Saurabh Banerjee



The current writ is based on an order of the Armed Forces Tribunal. The petitioner is a Short Service Commissioned Medical Officer who has joined the Army Medical Corps. It was the petitioner’s case that, in recent years, a number of vacancies have been created for the grant of Permanent Commission to SSC Officers, and according to a letter from the Ministry of Defence dated September 3, 1998, 115 vacancies in the category of PC were to be filled by SSC Officers in the Armed Force Medical Corps. The petitioner was eligible for the PC, so he participated in the selection process, and his case was heard at the DPC in June 2012. The results were released in November of 2012. The petitioner was ranked 53rd on the merit list, but only 15 candidates were appointed as PCOs following the DPC in June 2012. In March 2014, similarly placed SSC Officers, who were also dissatisfied with the respondents’ action of filling only 15 vacancies instead of 50, approached the Tribunal, citing Major Mallikarjun’s case. It is sufficient to state that the Tribunal decided the OA on October 15, 2015, holding that the reduction of vacancies from 50 to 15 is illegal and that the 50 vacancies must be filled. The respondents were asked to fill 50 vacancies, but only 33 were filled, leaving 17 vacant. The petitioner filed a petition in tribunal, which was dismissed.


The petitioner’s counsel contends that the Tribunal’s order is erroneous because the respondents have no right to refuse the grant of PC to a candidate who is on the panel or on the waitlist if vacancies exist. If a vacancy is not filled due to reasons such as unwillingness, invalidation, death, or resignation, candidates on the waiting list will be considered for the position. The respondents had a responsibility to operate a waiting list because 17 vacancies remained unfilled. They argued that it is a travesty of justice to overlook qualified candidates for PC and let them go to waste.


They contended that the Tribunal granted relief in the case of Major Mallikarjun solely on the basis of “legitimate expectations” of the top 50 candidates whose selection had already been approved by the previous DGAFMS, because the applicants were ranked among the top 50. They He also stated that the judgement was for the applicants and not an order in rem. It was extended to the top 50 candidates based on the Tribunal’s observations. In contrast, the petitioner was not on the Merit List’s top 50 and chose not to pursue the matter until 2017.


The court held that, in light of the Tribunal’s decision in Major Mallikarjun S Biradar, the Tribunal correctly rejected the petitioner’s OA. Furthermore, this Court believes that because the upper age limit for PC is 30 years and the petitioner has used up his last chance in December 2012, no PC direction can be issued. Furthermore, the maximum service period for granting PC to an SSC Officer should be 9 years and 6 months, while the petitioner already served for more than 13 years.

The petitioner approached the Tribunal to state that the waitlist needs to be operated because the vacancies resulting from the Tribunal’s directions in Major Mallikarjun S. Biradar have not been provided. The court held that the petitioner could not have filed the OA on the basis of the direction provided by the Tribunal in Major Mallikarjun S. Biradar because no such direction had been given by the Tribunal.

The court stated that the issue of operating a waitlist is not relevant in light of the Tribunal’s decision in Major Mallikarjun S Biradar, which has reached finality and is no longer res interga. Furthermore, the petitioner’s claim is based on the Tribunal’s decision in Major Mallikarjun S Biradar, which makes no mention of the need to operate a list larger than 50. As a result, the applicants received relief because they were among the 50 candidates found to be qualified for permanent commission on merit. Therefore, the petition is dismissed.



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Written by – Surya Venkata Sujith


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