Case Law Details

Case Name : Smt. Madhu Sahu, Vs State of Chhattisgarh, (Chhattisgarh High Court)
Appeal Number : Writ Petition (S) No.97 of 2015
Date of Judgement/Order : 24/11/2015
Related Assessment Year :

Chhattisgarh High Court held Decision of State Government not to recruit Teachers (Panchayat) is a policy decision, cannot be interfered with in absence of arbitrariness and perversity.

Relevant Extract of the Judgment

15. Thus, the question involved in the present writ petitions has been considered by the Supreme Court in number of occasions clearly holding that a person whose name appears in the select list does not acquire any indefeasible right of appointment and empanelment at the best is a condition of eligibility for the purpose of appointment and by itself does not amount to selection or create a vested right to be appointed. Vacancies have to be filled up as per the statutory rules and in conformity with the constitutional mandate. Thus, in the present case, the petitioners, though have been selected, have no indefeasible right to be appointed for which they have been selected.

16.Now, the question is whether the decision of the Government not to continue with the appointment on the subject post is justified or such an order has been passed arbitrarily without giving proper justification.

17.The aforesaid question came to be considered by the Supreme Court in the matter of East Coast Railway and another v. Mahadev Appa Rao and others 10 in which Their Lordships of the Supreme Court have said that though a candidate who has passed an examination or whose name appears in select list does not have an indefeasible right to be appointed, yet appointment cannot be denied arbitrarily, nor can selection test be cancelled without giving proper justification and Court can give appropriate directions where decision is found to be arbitrary, and it has been observed as under: –

“14. It is evident from the above that while no candidate acquires an indefeasible right to a post merely because he has appeared in the examination or even found a place in the select list, yet the State does not enjoy an unqualified prerogative to refuse an appointment in an arbitrary fashion or to disregard the merit of the candidates as reflected by the merit list prepared at the end of the selection process. The validity of the State’s decision not to make an appointment is thus a matter which is not beyond judicial review before a competent writ court. If any such decision is indeed found to be arbitrary, appropriate directions can be issued in the matter.

15. To the same effect is the decision of this Court in UT of Chandigarh v. Dilbagh Singh, (1993) 1 SCC 154, where again this Court reiterated that while a candidate who finds a place in the select list may have no vested right to be appointed to any post, in the absence of any specific rules entitling him to the same, he may still be aggrieved of his nonappointment if the authority concerned acts arbitrarily or in a malafide manner. That was also a case where the selection process had been cancelled by the Chandigarh Administration upon receipt of complaints about the unfair and injudicious manner in which the select list of candidates for appointment as conductors in CTU was prepared by the Selection Board. An inquiry got conducted into the said complaint proved the allegations made in the complaint to be true. It was in that backdrop that action taken by the Chandigarh Administration was held to be neither discriminatory nor unjustified as the same was duly supported by valid reasons for cancelling what was described by this Court to be as a “dubious selection”.

16. Applying these principles to the case at hand there is no gainsaying that while the candidates who appeared in the typewriting test had no indefeasible or absolute right to seek an appointment, yet the same did not give a licence to the competent authority to cancel the examination and the result thereof in an arbitrary manner. The least which the candidates who were otherwise eligible for appointment and who had appeared in the examination that constituted a step-in-aid of a possible appointment in their favour, were entitled to is to ensure that the selection process was not allowed to be scuttled for malafide reasons or in an arbitrary manner.

17. It is trite that Article 14 of the Constitution strikes at arbitrariness which is an antithesis of the guarantee contained in Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. Whether or not the cancellation of the typing test was arbitrary is a question which the Court shall have to examine once a challenge is mounted to any such action, no matter the candidates do not have an indefeasible right to claim an appointment against the advertised posts.”

18.Applying the law laid down by Their Lordships of the Supreme Court, coming to the facts of the case, it is quite evident that the Government has taken a policy decision on 25-4-2014 in which it has clearly been recorded that in the State of Chhattisgarh, the teacher-student ratio in Primary and Middle Schools is 1:23 and if regular teachers are also included, the ratio would become 1:19, as such, sufficient number of teachers have already been appointed and, therefore, further appointment to be made on the post of Teacher (Panchayat) and Assistant Teacher (Panchayat) is stayed until further orders.

19.The decision of the Government not to hold further recruitment looking to the teacher-student ratio and for the satisfaction recorded in the order dated 25-4-2014 cannot be said to be arbitrary, as such a decision has been taken as a policy decision of the Government after due application of mind assigning reasons.

20.It is well settled law that the policy decision is not open to judicial review unless it is mala fide, arbitrary or bereft of any discernible principle. (See Director, Lift Irrigation Corporation Ltd. and others v. Pravat Kiran Mohanty and others11 and Union of India and others v. S.L. Dutta and others12.)

21. A coordinate Bench of this Court in W.P.(S)No.1113/2015 (Tiku Ram Verma v. State of Chhattisgarh and others) decided on 7-9-2015 dealing with similar issue has already held that the State Government having taken a policy decision not to appoint teachers in the Department of Panchayat and in the Department of Urban Administration and Development, a writ of mandamus cannot be issued, and observed as under in paragraph 6:

“Moreover, the State Government having taken a policy decision not to appoint teachers in the department of Panchayat and in the department of Urban Administration and Development, this Court cannot ignore the said policy decision to issue a writ of mandamus.”

22.Thus, the writ petitions as framed and filed challenging the policy decision of the Government to direct to conclude the recruitment already initiated cannot be accepted and as 11 (1991) 2 SCC 295 12 (1991) 1 SCC 505 such, all the three writ petitions deserve to be and are accordingly, dismissed. No order as to costs.

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