AARAV JAIN VS BIHAR PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION & ORS. CASE

AARAV JAIN VS BIHAR PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION & ORS. CASE

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



Reportable
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4242 OF 2022@
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 10776 OF 2021)
AARAV JAIN ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE BIHAR PUBLIC
SERVICE COMMISSION
& ORS.
 ...RESPONDENT(S)
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4243 OF 2022@
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 11089 OF 2021)
SANJAY KUMAR MISHRA & ANR. ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF BIHAR AND ORS. ...RESPONDENT(S)
AND
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4244 OF 2022@
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 15809 OF 2021)
SUMIT KUMAR ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF BIHAR AND ORS. …RESPONDENT(S)
1
AND
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4246 OF 2022@
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 15819 OF 2021)
MAYANK KUMAR PANDEY @
MAYANK & ANR ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF BIHAR AND ORS. …RESPONDENT(S)
AND
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4245 OF 2022@
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 16198 OF 2021)
ASHISH CHANDRA ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF BIHAR AND ORS. …RESPONDENT(S)
AND
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4247 OF 2022@
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 809 OF 2022)
ANITA KUMAR ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF BIHAR AND ORS. …RESPONDENT(S)
2
J U D G M E N T
VIKRAM NATH, J.
Leave granted in all the Special Leave Petitions.
2. For recruitment of 349 posts of Civil Judge (Junior
Division), the Bihar Public Service Commission issued an
Advertisement No. 6 of 2018, dated 23.8.2018 for
conducting 30th Bihar Judicial Services Examination. The
break-up of the 349 posts is as follows:
i. General/unreserved (01) – 175 posts
ii. SC (02) – 56 posts
iii. SC (03) – 03 posts
iv. EBC (04) – 73 Posts
v. Backward Class (05) – 42 Posts
3. After conducting the Screening Test, Written Test and
Interview, the Commission vide letter dated 02.12.2019
recommended names of 349 candidates in order of merit.
According to the figures available, out of the 349
recommended candidates, four candidates did not turn up
for counselling. As such appointment letters were issued on
different dates from January, 2020 to December, 2020 to
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345 candidates. Further out of these 345 candidates, three
candidates did not turn up for joining. As such the
candidature of seven candidates was cancelled by the State
Government vide orders issued on different dates. The
Appellants had admittedly secured higher marks than the
last selected candidates in their respective categories but
the Commission had cancelled their candidature for want of
fulfilment of the conditions required as per the interview call
letter.
4. One of the conditions required was to submit the
originals of certificates detailed therein which included
educational certificates, Caste certificates if claiming any
benefit of reservation, No Objection Certificates of previous
employer, Character Certificate of the last attended
College/University and other certificates of residence etc. at
the time of interview. Some of the candidates could not
produce the original Certificates as required, as a result of
which their candidatures were cancelled by the Commission
vide their meeting dated 27.11.2019. In its 102nd meeting
of the Commission organised on 27.11.2019, the eligibility
of the candidates on the basis of their educational
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certificates, mark sheets, documents etc. presented at the
time of the interview which was conducted in between the
dates of 21.10.2019 to 27.10.2019 under the 30th Bihar
Judicial Service Examination (Advertisement No. 06/2018),
the Commission examined the short comings and the nonfulfilment of the requirement of the production of the
original documents/certificates at the time of the interview
and after dealing with each of the candidates, found deficit
in fulfilling the said requirement and cancelled the
candidature of as many as 58 candidates for different
reasons.
5. Some of these candidates approached the Patna High
Court by way of different Writ Petitions, either singly or
jointly. Division bench of the Patna High Court vide
Judgment impugned did not find favour with such
candidates and dismissed their petitions. Aggrieved by the
Judgment of the Patna High Court, the present Special Leave
Petitions have been preferred by eight candidates. It is not
in issue that the ground for rejection of the candidature of
these candidates was only and only non-production of the
original Certificates. The Commission has admitted these
5
eight Appellants before us have scored higher marks from
the last selected candidates in their respective categories.
6. Out of these eight candidates, five namely Mayank
Kumar Pandey (SLP (C) No. 15819/21), Aarav Jain (SLP (C)
No. 10776/21), Ashish Chandra (SLP (C) No. 16198/21),
Siddharth Sharma (SLP (C) No. 11089/21) and Sanjay Kumar
Mishra (SLP (C) No. 11089/21) belong to the General/
Unserved Category. Sumit Kumar (SLP (C) No. 15809/21)
belongs to the EBC Category, Anita Kumar (SLP (C) No.
809/22) belongs to SC Category and Anand Raj (SLP (C)
No.15819/21) belongs to BC Category.
7. With respect to these 8 candidates named above, the
following shortcomings/deficiencies were noticed by the
Commission in its meeting dated 27.11.2019:
i. Aarav Jain failed to produce the original character
certificate from the last attended College/University
(his name finds place at Sr. No. 1 in the list of decision
dated 27.11.2019).
6
ii. Anand Raj also failed to submit the original character
certificate issued from the College/University last
attended (his name finds place at Sr. No. 10 in the list
of decision dated 27.11.2019).
iii. Sumit Kumar failed to produce the original copy of
degree of law (his name finds place at Sr. No. 19 in the
list of decision dated 27.11.2019).
iv. Sanjay Kumar Mishra failed to produce the original of
the No Objection Certificate from his previous
employer (his name finds place at Sr. No. 26 in the list
of decision dated 27.11.2019).
v. Anita Kumar although had applied under the category
of SC (female) but she submitted the caste certificate
issued in the year 2002 which contained the name of
her husband, at the time of the interview, however,
later on she sent the caste certificate mentioning the
name of her father also on 13.11.2019 (her name finds
place at Sr. No. 29 in the list of decision dated
27.11.2019).
7
vi. Siddharth Sharma failed to produce the original
certificate relating to affiliation of his educational
institution last attended with the Bar Council of India
and secondly, the original of the character certificate
issued from the College/University last attended (his
name finds place at Sr. No. 36 in the list of decision
dated 27.11.2019).
vii. Ashish Chandra did not submit the original character
certificate and the certificate related to the affiliation
of the educational institution last attended (his name
finds place at Sr. No. 55 in the list of decision dated
27.11.2019).
viii. Mayank Kumar Pandey did not submit original
character certificate and certificate of affiliation of the
last attended College/University. He had, however,
submitted the character certificate issued by the
Additional Commissioner, Commercial Tax (his name
finds place at Sr. No. 56 in the list of decision dated
27.11.2019).
8
8. A perusal of the minutes of the meeting dated
27.11.2019 and the specific averments contained in the
respective petitions, it is evident that self-attested copies of
the certificates required were submitted by the appellants
at the time of their interview and even the originals were
later on submitted within a few days and in any case before
the meeting of the Commission took place on 27.11.2019.
These facts are not disputed or denied by the respondents.
9. It would be worthwhile to mention here that as per the
conditions mentioned in the advertisement for any
government employment, there is always a clause that in
the certificate/testimonies, if information furnished by any
candidate is found to be incorrect at a later stage, during
any enquiry, the candidature for such candidates is liable to
be cancelled. It is not the case of the respondent that any
of these certificates referred to in the decision dated
27.11.2019 have been found to be incorrect. It is only this
technical ground of not producing the original certificate at
the time of the interview that the candidature of these
appellants had been rejected even though they had scored
9
higher marks in their respective category from the marks
obtained by the last selected candidate.
10. We had required the Commission and the State to
place on record the number of available vacancies in
different categories, so as to consider in case the appellants
succeed whether they could be placed in their respective
categories. The information which has been placed on
record by the State of Bihar reflects that there are 5 vacant
posts in the General Category and that there are no
vacancies in EBC, SC and BC categories as against the
Advertisement No. 6 of 2018.
11. In so far as the remaining two vacances were
concerned, they had been filled up by two candidates viz.
Swati Chaturvedi (from the wait list) and Rakesh Kumar
(who could not join within the time allowed) under orders
passed by the High Court and this Court. The writ petition
of Swati Chaturvedi being CWJC No.3952 of 2020 was
allowed by the Division Bench of the High Court vide
judgment dated 01.03.2021 and the SLP (C) No.11174 of
2021 filed by the State of Bihar was dismissed by this Court
on 30.07.2021. In so far as Rakesh Kumar is concerned, his
10
petition being CWJC No.3835 of 2021 was dismissed by the
High Court on 26.10.2021. This Court, however, allowed his
Civil Appeal No.1517 of 2022 vide judgment dated
18.02.2022.
12. The submission advanced on behalf of the appellants is
that all the Appellants had supplied attested true copies of
the certificates/documents as required. However, it was only
the original of the same which could not be provided in
time. It is further submitted that for submission of the
originals, time was sought and later on the originals have
been submitted. But despite the same, the Commission
proceeded to reject their candidature.
13. Another submission advanced on the behalf of the
appellants is that the requirement to submit the originals is
neither related to qualification or eligibility and in any case
before appointment or during the course of probation a
verification and vigilance report is always obtained by the
State. Therefore, non-furnishing of the original certificate at
the time of interview cannot be held to be mandatory or in
other words nothing turned upon it. Even if the original
11
certificates/documents were not submitted at the time of
interview, the government would still be getting a
vigilance/verification check carried out.
14. Upon such submissions, it has been submitted that the
decision of the Commission rejecting their candidature was
per se illegal, unwarranted, unreasonable and too harsh. All
the eight appellants who were duly qualified and duly
selected have been deprived of their appointment as
Judicial Officers. Admittedly, all the Appellants had secured
more marks than the last selected candidate in their
respective category. It is further submitted that even the
High Court committed an error in dismissing their petitions.
15. On the other hand, it has been submitted on behalf of
the BPSC and the State that they could not relax any of the
condition which were mentioned in the advertisement or
their brochure or the interview call letter at different stages.
Any such relaxation would amount to not following their
own prescribed procedure which was not within their
domain. It is also submitted that appellants knowing fully
well the condition regarding submission of the original
12
Certificates/Documents at the time of interview having
failed to do so, their candidature was rightly rejected.
16. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case,
without entering into the respective argument we are of the
considered view that the rejection of the candidates was
improper, unjustified and not warranted. We have also
taken note of the fact that there are vacancies available,
which if filled up by meritorious candidates would only be an
asset for the institution helping in disposal of cases
pending in huge numbers.
17. The next aspect which needs to be considered is with
respect to the adjustment of eight appellants against the
vacancies of the Advertisement No. 6 of 2018. In so far as
the five candidates of the unreserved categories are
concerned namely, Mayank Kumar Pandey, Aarav Jain,
Ashish Chandra, Siddharth Sharma and Sanjay Kumar
Mishra, (according to the state five vacancies are available),
they may be adjusted against these vacancies. The issue
now remains with respect to the three candidates belonging
to EBC, SC and BC category. For these three candidates, in
13
the facts and circumstances of the case the State may
either adjust them against future vacancies which we are
told are available at present or the State may borrow three
posts from future vacancies, one each in respective
categories for the Advertisement No.06 of 2018. This would
amount to varying the vacancies of the said advertisement
which power always vests in the employer. We further leave
it to the wisdom and discretion of the State to deal with the
above aspect either in the manner mentioned above or any
other mode which it may deem fit in order to accommodate
the three appellants belonging to the EBC, SC and BC
categories.
18. In the above arrangement, we make it clear it would
not affect the appointment/selection of already serving
Judicial officers appointed against Advertisement No. 6 of
2018.
19. The eight appellants would be entitled to their
respective seniority as per their merit; however, they would
not be entitled to any arrears of salary for the intervening
period, but would be entitled to the same from the date of
14
their joining. They would be forthwith allowed to join. All
incremental and other benefits of the intervening period
would be notionally available to them, but no arrears would
be paid.
20. The appeals are accordingly allowed as above. The
impugned decision of the Commission dated 27.11.2019
qua these appellants and the impugned judgments of the
High Court are set aside. There shall be no order as to costs.
21. Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of.
I.A. Nos. 54711 & 54713 of 2022
22. I.A.No.54711 is allowed. The intervenor Jyoti Joshi has
prayed for directions to the effect that this Court may issue
appropriate directions requiring the Respondents to give
effect to the appointment of the applicant in pursuance of
the judgment and order dated 09.02.2022 passed by the
High Court of Judicature at Patna in CWJC No. 7751 of 2020
and for further direction to clarify that the order dated
23.07.2021 passed by this Hon’ble Court in SLP (C) No.
10776 of 2021 has not interfered with the process of
15
appointment of applicant. In order to deal with this
application, some additional facts need to be noted.
23. After the appointment letters were issued and 7
vacancies having fallen vacant against the Advertisement
No. 6 of 2018 for the reason that 4 candidates did not
participate in the counselling and 3 candidates did not join
pursuant to their appointment, the State Government had
cancelled candidature of these 7 candidates. In effect, out
of 349 vacancies only 342 were filled up.
24. On the one hand, some of the candidates whose
candidature was cancelled by the Commission vide its
resolution dated 27.11.2019 had approached the High Court
of Patna by way of different petitions. At the same time,
another candidate from the waiting list namely Swati
Chaturvedi filed a writ petition before the Patna High Court
registered as CWJC No. 3952 of 2020 praying for
appointment against the vacancies which had fallen vacant
she being a candidate from the unreserved category in the
waiting list. The Division Bench of the High Court vide
judgement dated 01.03.2021 allowed the petition of Swati
Chaturvedi and directed the State Government to send
16
requisition for one post to the BPSC for recommending her
name for appointment on the post of Civil Judge (Junior
Division).
25. The State of Bihar filed SLP (C) No. 11174 of 2021
against the judgment and order dated 01.03.2021 in the
case of Swati Chaturvedi which was dismissed in limine by
this Court on 30.07.2021.
26. The Division Bench of the Patna High Court in the
meantime on 04.05.2021 dismissed the petition of some of
the present appellants and later on following the same other
petitions of the other appellants were dismissed. In the
present appeals, this Court while issuing notice in the first
case i.e. SLP (C) No. 10776 of 2021 filed by Aarav Jain
connected with SLP (C) No. 11089 of 2021 passed an
interim order dated 23.07.2021 providing that 3 posts of
Civil Judge (Junior Division) in the category to which the
petitioners belong were to remain vacant till the disposal of
the instant petition. Further, similar interim orders followed
on 08.10.2021 in SLP (C) No. 15809 of 2021, SLP (C) No.
16198 of 2021 and SLP (C) No. 15819 of 2021 providing for
keeping 4 posts of Civil Judge (Junior Division) vacant till the
17
disposal of the matter. And lastly on 07.02.2022, similar
orders were passed in SLP(C) No. 809 of 2022 filed by Anita
Kumar by keeping 1 post of Civil Judge (Junior Division)
vacant till the disposal of the present petition in the
category in which the petitioners belong.
27. The intervenor Jyoti Joshi filed a writ petition before the
Patna High Court registered as CWJC No. 7751 of 2020. This
petition was finally decided vide judgement of the Division
Bench dated 09.02.2022 at a time when there were interim
orders already passed by this Court right from 23.07.2021
till 07.02.2022. The Division Bench of the Patna High Court
vide judgment dated 09.02.2022 allowed the said writ
petition and directed the State Government to send the
requisition for all the posts which have remained vacant due
to non-joining of the recommended candidates and the
BPSC was directed to recommend the name of the
candidates from the combined merit list in order of merit for
appointment against Advertisement No. 6 of 2018. The
operative portion of the said judgment as contained in
paragraph 62 thereon is reproduced below:
18
“62. In result, I direct the State Government to
send the requisition for all the posts which have
remained vacant due to non-joining of the
recommended candidates and the Bihar Public
Service Commission (3rd Respondent) and it’s
authorities are directed to recommend the name of
the candidates from the combined merit list/select
list in order of merit for appointment on the post of
Civil Judge (Junior Division) against Advertisement
No.06 of 2018.”
28. This Judgment dated 09.02.2022 and the directions
contained therein were in direct conflict to the interim
orders passed by this Court on 23.07.2021, 08.10.2021 and
07.02.2022. Apparently, these orders were not placed
before the Division Bench, and in ignorance of the same the
directions were issued. As such the BPSC has already
moved an application to modify the judgment and order
dated 09.02.2022 taking into consideration the interim
order passed by this court referred to above. The said
modification application is still pending before the High
Court.
29. Thus, the application for directions filed by Jyoti Joshi
seeking the directions as such cannot be granted nor can
she claim parity or any benefit from the judgment of Swati
19
Chaturvedi which was passed much before the impugned
judgment of the Division Bench of the Patna High Court or
the interim orders passed by this Court. Accordingly, the
Interlocutory Application for directions stands rejected.
…………..........................J.
[S. ABDUL NAZEER]
………….........................J.
[VIKRAM NATH]
NEW DELHI
May 23, 2022. 
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