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Bishnu Biswas & Ors. V. Union of India & Ors

Case name:Bishnu Biswas & Ors. V. Union of India & Ors
Case number:CIVIL APPEAL NOs. 4255-58 of 2014
Court:THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Bench:J. Dr. B.S. Chauhan J. J. Chelameswar
Decided on:April 2, 2014.
  • BRIEF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
  • An advertisement dated 4.2.2008 was published by the respondent authorities calling for applications from eligible candidates as well as from those who were registered with the Employment Exchange for appointment to the 8 posts of Group ‘D’ staff.  The recruitment rules only provided for a written examination having 50 maximum marks.
  • The written examination was held on 25.1.2009 which was given by 870 candidates out of which 573 candidates obtained 20 and above marks.
  • A  press  notice  dated  27.1.2009  was  issued  calling  the  successful candidates for interview, though such interview was not  part of the recruitment process.
  • The interviews were conducted and a final result sheet was published. In pursuance thereto, appointment letters were issued to the appellants herein.
  • Challenging the said appointments, the unsuccessful candidates filed Original Application before the Tribunal which was allowed, quashing such appointments as equal marks were earmarked for both the written examination and interview which is impermissible in law and that the interview was never part of the recruitment process and thereby ordering initiation of fresh recruitment process.
  • The appointees/appellants challenged the said order before the High Court. The High Court upheld the reasoning of the Tribunal but modified the order to the extent of continuing the recruitment process from the point it stood vitiated. 
  • In pursuance of the judgment and order of the High Court, termination letters were issued to the appellants.
  • Hence, these appeals.
  • ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT:
  • Whether the order passed by the Tribunal as well as High Court be set aside?
  • RATIO OF THE COURT
  • The Court observed that in the instant case, the rules of the game had been changed after conducting the written test and admittedly not at the stage of initiation of the selection process. The marks allocated for the oral interview had been the same as for written test i.e. 50% for each.  The manner in which marks were awarded in the interview to the candidates indicated lack of transparency. 
  • The Court pointed out that, the candidate who secured 47 marks out of 50 in the written test had been given only 20 marks in the interview while large number of candidates got equal marks in the interview as in the written examination.  Candidate who secured 34 marks in the written examination was given 45 marks in the interview.
  • The Court also took into consideration that the so called selected candidates were not in employment, was also a relevant factor to decide the case finally. If the whole selection is scrapped most of the candidates would be ineligible at least in respect of age as the advertisement was issued more than six years ago.
  • Thus, in the facts of this case the direction of the High Court was to continue with the selection process from the point it stood vitiated and did not require interference. 
  • DECISION HELD BY COURT:
  • The appeal was dismissed accordingly with no costs.

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