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Friday, February 14, 2014

Service matter - appointment on daily basis - to avoid illegality, irregularity, corruption, nepotism and favouritism in judicial institutions, but also to provide guidelines to prevent the menace of back-door entries of employees who subsequently are ordered to be regularised. - Apex court issued some guidelines to all High courts = Renu & Ors. …Appellants Versus District & Sessions Judge, Tis Hazari & Anr. …Respondents = 2014 judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41221

  Service matter - appointment on daily basis -  to avoid illegality, irregularity,  corruption,  nepotism  and  favouritism  in judicial institutions, but also to provide guidelines to  prevent  the
 menace of back-door entries of employees who subsequently are  ordered to be regularised. - Apex court issued some guidelines to  all High courts =


 In today’s system, daily labourers  and  casual  labourers  have
      been  conveniently  introduced  which  are  followed  by  attempts  to
      regularise them at a subsequent stage.  
Therefore, most of  the  times
      the  issue  raised  is  about  the  procedure   adopted   for   making
      appointments indicating an improper exercise of discretion  even  when
      the rules specify a particular mode to be adopted.  
There  can  be  no
      doubt that the employment whether of Class IV, Class III,  Class II or
      any other class in the High Court or courts  subordinate  to  it  fall
      within the definition of  “public  employment”.  
Such  an  employment,
      therefore, has to  be  made  under  rules  and  under  orders  of  the
      competent authority.
The date of retirement of every employee is well  known
      in advance and therefore, the number of vacancies likely to  occur  in
      near future in a particular cadre is always  known  to  the  employer.
      Therefore, the exercise to fill up the vacancies at the earliest  must
      start  in  advance  to  ensure  that  the  selected  person  may  join
      immediately after availability of the post, and hence, there may be no
      occasion to appoint any person on ad-hoc basis for the reason that the
      problem of inducting the daily labourers who are ensured of a  regular
      appointment subsequently has to be avoided and a fair  procedure  must
      be adopted giving equal opportunity to everyone.

In view of the above, the appeal stands  disposed  of  with  the
      following directions:
        i) All High Courts are requested to re-examine the statutory  rules
           dealing with the appointment of staff in the High Court as  well
           as in the subordinate courts and in case any of the rule is  not
           in conformity and consonance with the provisions of Articles  14
           and 16 of the Constitution, the same may be modified.
       ii) To fill up any vacancy for any post either in the High Court  or
           in courts subordinate to the High Court, in strict compliance of
           the statutory rules so made.  In case any appointment is made in
           contravention of the statutory rules, the appointment  would  be
           void ab-initio irrespective of any class  of  the  post  or  the
           person occupying it.
      iii) The post shall be filled up by issuing the advertisement  in  at
           least two newspapers and one of  which  must  be  in  vernacular
           language having wide circulation in the  respective  State.   In
           addition thereto, the names may be requisitioned from the  local
           employment exchange and the vacancies may be advertised by other
           modes also e.g. Employment News, etc.   Any  vacancy  filled  up
           without advertising as prescribed hereinabove, shall be void ab-
           initio and would remain unenforceable  and  inexecutable  except
           such appointments which are permissible to be filled up  without
           advertisement, e.g., appointment on compassionate grounds as per
           the rules applicable.   Before  any  appointment  is  made,  the
           eligibility as well as suitability of all candidates  should  be
           screened/tested while adhering to the reservation policy adopted
           by the State, etc., if any.
       iv) Each High Court may examine and decide within  six  months  from
           today  as  to  whether  it  is  desirable  to  have  centralised
           selection of  candidates  for  the  courts  subordinate  to  the
           respective  High  Court  and  if  it  finds  it  desirable,  may
           formulate the rules to carry out that  purpose  either  for  the
           State or on Zonal or Divisional basis.
        v) The High Court concerned or the subordinate court  as  the  case
           may be, shall undertake the exercise of recruitment on a regular
           basis at least once a year for existing vacancies  or  vacancies
           that are likely to occur within the said  period,  so  that  the
           vacancies  are  filled  up  timely,  and  thereby  avoiding  any
           inconvenience or shortage of staff as it will also  control  the
           menace of ad-hocism.


  2014 judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41221
B.S. CHAUHAN, J. CHELAMESWAR, M.Y. EQBAL
                                                            
REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                       CIVIL APPEAL NO.   979  OF 2014
                 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 26090 of 2011)




      Renu & Ors.                                           …Appellants


                                   Versus


      District & Sessions Judge, Tis Hazari & Anr.
      …Respondents






                               J U D G M E N T


      Dr. B. S. CHAUHAN, J.


      1.    The matter initially related to  the  appointment  of  Class  IV
      employees in the courts subordinate to Delhi High Court as the dispute
      arose about the continuity of the employees appointed on ad-hoc  basis
      for 89 days which stood  extended  for  the  same  period  after  same
      interval from time to time. 
The matter reached the  Delhi  High  Court
      and  ultimately  before  this  Court.
This  court  vide  order  dated
      10.5.2012 took up the matter in a larger perspective taking cognizance
      of perpetual complaints regarding irregularities and  illegalities  in
      the recruitments of staff in the  subordinate  courts  throughout  the
      country and in order to ensure the feasibility of  centralising  these
      recruitments and to make them transparent and transferable.
This Court
      suo motu issued notice to Registrar Generals of all  the  High  Courts
      and to the States for filing their response mainly on two points  viz.
      
(i) why the recruitment be not centralized; and 
(ii) why the  relevant rules dealing with service conditions  of  the  entire  staff  be  not
      amended to make them as transferable posts.
All the  States  and  High
      Courts have  submitted  their  response  and  all  of  them  are  duly
      represented in the court.


      2.    This Court had appointed Shri  P.S.  Narasimha,  learned  senior
      counsel as Amicus Curiae to assist the court. The matter was heard  on
      28.1.2014 and deliberations took  place  at  length  wherein  all  the
      learned counsel appearing for the States  as  well  as  for  the  High
      Courts suggested that the matter should be  dealt  with  in  a  larger
      perspective i.e. also for appointments of employees in the High  Court
      and courts subordinate to the High Court which must include  Class  IV
      posts also.
A large number of instances have been pointed out  on  the
      basis of the information received under the Right to Information  Act,
      2005 of cases not only of irregularity  but  of  favouritism  also  in
      making such appointments.
It has been suggested by the learned counsel
      appearing in the matter that this court has a duty not only  to  check
      illegality, irregularity,  corruption,  nepotism  and  favouritism  in
      judicial institutions, but also to provide guidelines to  prevent  the
      menace of back-door entries of employees who subsequently are  ordered
      to be regularised.


      3.    It was in view of the above that this  Court  vide  its  earlier
      orders had asked learned counsel appearing for the States as  well  as
      the  High  Courts  to  examine  the  records   of   their   respective
      States/Courts and report as to whether a proper and fair procedure had
      been adopted for evaluating  the  candidates.  A  mixed  response  was
      received from different counsel on these issues.


      4.    In view of  the  aforesaid  submissions,  we  do  not  think  it
      necessary to peruse the  record  in  order  to  gauge  the  amount  of
      irregularities  or  illegalities.  Our  basic  concern  is  that   the
      appointments in judicial institutions must be made on  the  touchstone
      of equality of opportunity enshrined in Article 14 read  with  Article
      16 of the Constitution of India, 1950 (hereinafter referred to as  the
      `Constitution’) and under no circumstance  any  appointment  which  is
      illegal should be saved for the  reason  that  the  grievance  of  the
      people at large is that complete darkness in the light house has to be
      removed.  The judiciary which raises a finger towards actions of every
      other wing  of  the  society  cannot  afford  to  have  this  kind  of
      accusations against itself.


      5.    Rule of law is the basic feature of the Constitution.
There was
      a time when REX was LEX.  We now seek  to  say  LEX  is  REX.
It  is
      axiomatic that no authority is above law and  no  man  is  above  law.
      Article 13(2) of the Constitution provides that no law can be  enacted
      which runs contrary to the fundamental rights  guaranteed  under  Part
      III of the Constitution.
The object of such a provision is to  ensure
      that instruments emanating  from  any  source  of  law,  permanent  or
      temporary, legislative or judicial or any other source, pay homage  to
      the constitutional provisions relating to fundamental  rights.   Thus,
      the  main objective of Article 13 is to secure the paramountcy of  the
      Constitution especially with  regard to fundamental rights.


      6.     The  aforesaid  provision  is  in  consonance  with  the  legal
      principle of “Rule of Law” and they remind us of the famous  words  of
      the English jurist, Henry de Bracton – “The King is under no  man  but
      under God and the Law”. No one is above law. The dictum – “Be you ever
      so high, the law is above you” is applicable to all,  irrespective  of
      his status, religion, caste, creed, sex or culture.  The  Constitution
      is the supreme law. All the institutions, be it legislature, executive
      or judiciary, being created under the Constitution, cannot ignore it.
            The exercise of powers by an authority  cannot  be  unguided  or
      unbridled as the Constitution prescribes the limitations for each  and
      every authority and therefore, no one, howsoever high he may be, has a
      right to exercise the power beyond the purpose for which the same  has
      been conferred on him. Thus, the powers have to  be  exercised  within
      the  framework  of  the  Constitution  and   legislative   provisions,
      otherwise it would be an exercise of power in violation of  the  basic
      features  of  the  Constitution  i.e.  Part  III  dealing   with   the
      fundamental rights which also prescribes the limitations.


      7.     Article  14  of  the  Constitution  provides  for  equality  of
      opportunity.  It forms the cornerstone of our Constitution.


           In I.R. Coelho (dead) by L.Rs. v. State of Tamil Nadu, AIR  2007
      SC 861, the doctrine of basic features  has  been  explained  by  this
      Court as under:
           “The doctrine of basic structure  contemplates  that  there  are
           certain parts or aspects of the Constitution  including  Article
           15, Article 21 read with Articles 14 and 19 which constitute the
           core values which  if  allowed  to  be  abrogated  would  change
           completely  the  nature  of  the  Constitution.   Exclusion   of
           fundamental rights would result in nullification  of  the  basic
           structure doctrine, the object of  which  is  to  protect  basic
           features of the Constitution as indicated by the  synoptic  view
           of the rights in Part III.”




      8.    As Article 14 is an integral part of our system, each and  every
      state action is to be  tested  on  the  touchstone  of  equality.  Any
      appointment made in violation of mandate of Articles 14 and 16 of  the
      Constitution is not only irregular but  also  illegal  and  cannot  be
      sustained in view of the judgments rendered by  this  Court  in  Delhi
      Development Horticulture Employees’  Union  v.  Delhi  Administration,
      Delhi & Ors., AIR 1992 SC 789; State of Haryana & Ors. v. Piara  Singh
      & Ors. etc.etc., AIR 1992 SC 2130; Prabhat  Kumar  Sharma  &  Ors.  v.
      State of U.P. & Ors., AIR 1996 SC 2638; J.A.S. Inter College,  Khurja,
      U.P. & Ors. v. State of U.P. & Ors., AIR 1996 SC  3420;  M.P.  Housing
      Board & Anr. v. Manoj Shrivastava, AIR 2006 SC 3499; M.P.  State  Agro
      Industries Development Corporation Ltd. & Anr. v. S.C. Pandey,  (2006)
      2 SCC 716; and State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors. v. Ku. Sandhya  Tomar  &
      Anr., JT 2013 (9) SC 139.


      9.    In Excise Superintendent Malkapatnam, Krishna District, A.P.  v.
      K.B.N. Visweshwara Rao & Ors., (1996) 6 SCC 216,  a  larger  Bench  of
      this Court reconsidered its earlier judgment
in Union of India &  Ors.
      v. N. Hargopal & Ors., AIR 1987 SC 1227, wherein it had been held that
      insistence of requisition through employment exchanges advances rather
      than restricts the rights guaranteed by Articles  14  and  16  of  the
      Constitution. However, due to the possibility  of  non  sponsoring  of
      names by the employment exchange, this Court held that any appointment
      even on temporary or ad hoc basis without inviting application  is  in
      violation of the said provisions of the Constitution and even  if  the
      names of candidates are requisitioned  from  Employment  Exchange,  in
      addition thereto, it is mandatory on  the  part  of  the  employer  to
      invite applications from all eligible candidates from open  market  as
      merely calling the names from the Employment Exchange  does  not  meet
      the requirement of the said Articles of the  Constitution.  The  Court
      further observed:
           “In addition, the appropriate department…..should call  for  the
           names by publication in the newspapers having wider  circulation
           and also display on their office  notice  …and  employment  news
           bulletins; and then consider the case of all candidates who have
           applied. If this procedure is adopted, fair play  would  be  sub
           served. The equality of opportunity in the matter of  employment
           would be available to all eligible candidates.”

           (Emphasis added)


      (See also: Arun Tewari & Ors. v. Zila Mansavi Shikshak Sangh  &  Ors.,
      AIR 1998 SC 331; and Kishore K. Pati v. Distt. Inspector  of  Schools,
      Midnapur & Ors., (2000) 9 SCC 405).


      10.   In Suresh Kumar & Ors. v. State of Haryana & Ors., (2003) 10 SCC
      276, this Court upheld the judgment of the Punjab & Haryana High Court
      wherein 1600  appointments  made  in  the  Police  Department  without
      advertisement stood quashed  though the Punjab Police Rules, 1934  did
      not provide for such a course. The High Court reached  the  conclusion
      that  process  of  selection  stood  vitiated  because  there  was  no
      advertisement and due publicity for  inviting  applications  from  the
      eligible candidates at large.


      11.   In Union Public Service Commission v. Girish Jayanti Lal Vaghela
      & Ors., AIR 2006 SC 1165, this Court held:
           “........The appointment to any post under the State can only be
           made  after  a  proper  advertisement  has  been  made  inviting
           applications from eligible candidates and holding  of  selection
           by a body of experts or a specially constituted committee  whose
           members are fair and impartial, through a written examination or
           interview or some other rational criteria for judging the  inter
           se merit of candidates who  have  applied  in  response  to  the
           advertisement made…………… Any regular appointment made on  a  post
           under the State or Union without issuing advertisement  inviting
           applications from eligible  candidates  and  without  holding  a
           proper selection where all eligible candidates get a fair chance
           to compete would violate the guarantee enshrined  under  Article
           16 of the  Constitution....”                           (Emphasis
           added)


      12.    The  principles  to  be  adopted  in  the  matter   of   public
      appointments have been formulated by this Court in  M.P.  State  Coop.
      Bank Ltd., Bhopal v. Nanuram Yadav & Ors., (2007) 8 SCC 264 as under:
            “(1) The appointments made without  following  the  appropriate
           procedure  under  the  rules/government  circulars  and  without
           advertisement or inviting  applications  from  the  open  market
           would amount to breach of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution
           of India.


           (2) Regularisation cannot be a mode of appointment.


           (3) An appointment made in violation of the mandatory provisions
           of  the  statute  and  in  particular,  ignoring   the   minimum
           educational  qualification  and  other  essential  qualification
           would be wholly illegal. Such  illegality  cannot  be  cured  by
           taking recourse to regularisation.


           (4) Those who come by back-door should go through that door.
           (5)  No  regularisation  is  permissible  in  exercise  of   the
           statutory power conferred under Article 162 of the  Constitution
           of India if the appointments have been made in contravention  of
           the statutory rules.


           (6) The court should not exercise its jurisdiction on  misplaced
           sympathy.


           (7) If the mischief played is so widespread and  all  pervasive,
           affecting the result, so as to make it difficult to pick out the
           persons  who  have  been  unlawfully  benefited  or   wrongfully
           deprived of their selection, it will  neither  be  possible  nor
           necessary  to  issue  individual  show-cause  notice   to   each
           selectee. The  only  way  out  would  be  to  cancel  the  whole
           selection.


           (8) When the entire selection is stinking,  conceived  in  fraud
           and delivered in deceit, individual innocence has no  place  and
           the entire selection has to be set aside.”


      13.   A similar view has been reiterated by the Constitution Bench  of
      this Court in Secretary, State of Karnataka & Ors. v. Umadevi &  Ors.,
      AIR 2006 SC 1806, observing that any appointment made in violation  of
      the Statutory Rules as also in violation of Articles 14 and 16 of  the
      Constitution would be a nullity. “Adherence to Articles 14 and  16  of
      the Constitution is a must in the process of public  employment”.  The
      Court further rejected the prayer that ad hoc appointees  working  for
      long be considered for regularisation as such a course only encourages
      the State to flout its own rules and would confer  undue  benefits  on
      some at the cost of many waiting to compete.


      14.   In State of Orissa & Anr. v. Mamata Mohanty, (2011) 3  SCC  436,
      this Court  dealt  with  the  constitutional  principle  of  providing
      equality of opportunity to all which mandatorily requires that vacancy
      must be notified in advance meaning thereby that  information  of  the
      recruitment must be disseminated in  a  reasonable  manner  in  public
      domain ensuring maximum  participation  of  all  eligible  candidates;
      thereby the right of equal opportunity is effectuated.  The Court held
      as under:-
           “Therefore, it is a settled legal proposition that no person can
           be appointed even  on  a  temporary  or  ad  hoc  basis  without
           inviting applications  from  all  eligible  candidates.  If  any
           appointment is made by merely inviting names from the employment
           exchange or putting a note on the noticeboard,  etc.  that  will
           not  meet  the  requirement  of  Articles  14  and  16  of   the
           Constitution. Such a course violates the mandates of Articles 14
           and  16  of  the  Constitution  of  India  as  it  deprives  the
           candidates who are eligible for the post, from being considered.
           A person employed  in  violation  of  these  provisions  is  not
           entitled to any relief including salary. For a valid  and  legal
           appointment mandatory compliance with  the  said  constitutional
           requirement is to be fulfilled. The equality clause enshrined in
           Article 16 requires that every such appointment be  made  by  an
           open advertisement as to enable all eligible persons to  compete
           on merit.”
      15.   Where any such appointments are made, they can be challenged  in
      the court of law.  The quo  warranto  proceeding  affords  a  judicial
      remedy by which any  person,  who  holds  an  independent  substantive
      public office or franchise or liberty, is called upon to show by  what
      right he holds the said office, franchise  or  liberty,  so  that  his
      title to it may be duly determined, and in case the  finding  is  that
      the holder of the office has no title, he would be  ousted  from  that
      office by judicial  order.  In  other  words,  the  procedure  of  quo
      warranto gives the Judiciary a weapon to control  the  Executive  from
      making appointment to public office  against  law  and  to  protect  a
      citizen from being deprived of public office to which he has a  right.
      These proceedings also tend to protect the  public  from  usurpers  of
      public office who  might  be  allowed  to  continue  either  with  the
      connivance of the Executive or by reason of its apathy. It will, thus,
      be seen that before a person can  effectively  claim  a  writ  of  quo
      warranto, he has to satisfy the Court that the office in question is a
      public office and is held by a usurper without  legal  authority,  and
      that  inevitably  would  lead  to  an   enquiry  as  to  whether   the
      appointment of the alleged usurper has been made  in  accordance  with
      law or not. For issuance of writ of quo warranto,  the  Court  has  to
      satisfy that the appointment is contrary to the  statutory  rules  and
      the person holding the post has no  right  to  hold  it.   (Vide:  The
      University of Mysore & Anr. v. C.D. Govinda Rao &  Anr., AIR  1965  SC
      491;  Shri Kumar Padma Prasad v. Union of India & Ors.,  AIR  1992  SC
      1213; B.R. Kapur v. State of Tamil Nadu & Anr., AIR 2001 SC 3435;  The
      Mor  Modern  Co-operative  Transport   Society   Ltd.   v.   Financial
      Commissioner and Secretary to Govt., Haryana & Anr., AIR 2002 SC 2513;
      Arun Singh v. State of Bihar & Ors., AIR 2006 SC 1413; Hari Bansh  Lal
      v. Sahodar Prasad  Mahto  &  Ors.,  AIR  2010  SC  3515;  and  Central
      Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha v. Dhobei Sahoo & Ors., (2014)  1
      SCC 161).


      16.   Another important requirement of public appointment is  that  of
      transparency.  Therefore, the advertisement must specify the number of
      posts available for selection and recruitment. The qualifications  and
      other  eligibility  criteria  for  such  posts  should  be  explicitly
      provided and the schedule of recruitment process should  be  published
      with certainty and clarity.  The advertisement should also specify the
      rules under which the selection is to be made and in  absence  of  the
      rules, the procedure  under  which  the  selection  is  likely  to  be
      undertaken.  This is necessary to prevent arbitrariness and  to  avoid
      change of  criteria  of  selection  after  the  selection  process  is
      commenced, thereby unjustly benefiting someone at the cost of  others.




      17.   Thus, the aforesaid decisions are an  authority  on  prescribing
      the limitations while making appointment against public posts in terms
      of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.  What has  been  deprecated
      by this Court time and again is “backdoor appointments or  appointment
      de hors the rules”.
            In State of U.P. & Ors. v. U.P. State Law Officers Association &
      Ors., AIR 1994 SC 1654, this Court while dealing  with  the  back-door
      entries in public appointment observed as under:
           “The method of appointment is indeed not  calculated  to  ensure
           that the meritorious alone will always be appointed or that  the
           appointments made will not be on the considerations  other  than
           merit.  In the absence of guidelines,  the  appointment  may  be
           made purely  on  personal  or  political  consideration  and  be
           arbitrary.  This being so those who come to be appointed by such
           arbitrary procedure can hardly complain if  the  termination  of
           their appointment is equally arbitrary.  Those who come  by  the
           back-door have to go by the same door….From the  inception  some
           engagements and contracts may be the product of the operation of
           the spoils system.  There need  be  no  legal  anxiety  to  save
           them.”                                  (Emphasis added)




      18.   In Som Raj & Ors. v. State of Haryana  & Ors., AIR 1990 SC 1176,
      this Court held as under:
           “The absence of arbitrary power is the first postulate  of  rule
           of law upon which our whole constitutional edifice is based.  In
           a system governed by Rule of Law, discretion when conferred upon
           an executive authority must be confined within  clearly  defined
           limits. The rules provide  the  guidance  for  exercise  of  the
           discretion in making appointment from  out  of  selection  lists
           which was prepared on the basis of the performance and  position
           obtained at the selection. The appointing authority is  to  make
           appointment in the order of  gradation,  subject  to  any  other
           relevant rules like, rotation or reservation,  if  any,  or  any
           other valid and binding rules or instructions  having  force  of
           law. If the discretion is exercised  without  any  principle  or
           without any rule, it is a situation amounting to the  antithesis
           of Rule of Law. Discretion means sound discretion guided by  law
           or governed by known principles of rules, not by whim  or  fancy
           or caprice of the authority.”


      19.   In making the  appointments  or  regulating  the  other  service
      conditions  of  the  staff  of  the  High  Court,  the  Chief  Justice
      exercises an administrative power with  constitutional  backing.  This
      power has been entrusted to the safe custody of the Chief  Justice  in
      order to ensure the independence of the Judiciary, which is one of the
      vital organs of a Government and whose authority is to be  maintained.
      The discretion exercised by  the  Chief  Justice  cannot  be  open  to
      challenge, except on well known grounds, that  is  to  say,  when  the
      exercise of discretion is discriminatory or mala fide, or the like(s).




      20.   Even under the Constitution, the power of appointment granted to
      the Chief Justice under Article 229 (1) is subject to Article 16  (1),
      which guarantees equality of opportunity for all citizens  in  matters
      relating to employment. ‘Opportunity’ as used in  this  Article  means
      chance of employment and what it guaranteed is that  this  opportunity
      of employment would be equally available to all.


      21.   As a safeguard, the Constitution has also recognized that in the
      internal administration of the High Court, no other power, except  the
      Chief Justice should have  domain.  In  order  to  enable  a  judicial
      intervention, it would require  only  a  very  strong  and  convincing
      argument to show that this power has been abused. If an authority  has
      exercised his discretion in good faith and not  in  violation  of  any
      law, such exercise of discretion should not be interfered with by  the
      courts merely  on  the  ground  that  it  could  have  been  exercised
      differently  or  even  that  the  courts  would  have   exercised   it
      differently had the  matter  been  brought  before  it  in  the  first
      instance or in that perspective.


      22.   Article 235 of the Constitution provides for power of  the  High
      Court to exercise complete administrative control over the Subordinate
      Courts.  This  control,  undoubtedly,  extends  to  all  functionaries
      attached to the Subordinate Courts including the ministerial staff and
      servants in the establishment  of  the  Subordinate   Courts.  If  the
      administrative control cannot be exercised over the administrative and
      ministerial staff, i.e. if the High Court  would  be  denuded  of  its
      powers of control over  the  other  administrative  functionaries  and
      ministerial staff of the District Court and Subordinate  Courts  other
      than Judicial Officers, then the purpose of  superintendence  provided
      therein would stand frustrated and such  an  interpretation  would  be
      wholly destructive to the harmonious, efficient and effective  working
      of the Subordinate Courts. The Courts  are  institutions  or  organism
      where all the limbs complete the whole system of Courts and  when  the
      Constitutional provision is of such wide amplitude to cover  both  the
      Courts and persons belonging to the Judicial Office, there would be no
      reason  to  exclude  the  other   limbs   of   the   Courts,   namely,
      administrative   functionaries   and   ministerial   staff   of    its
      establishment from the scope of control. Such control is exclusive  in
      nature, comprehensive in extent and effective in operation. (Vide: The
      State of West Bengal & Anr. v.  Nripendra Nath  Bagchi,  AIR  1966  SC
      447; Shri Baradakanta Mishra v.  Registrar  of  Orissa  High  Court  &
      Anr., AIR 1974 SC 710;  Yoginath D. Bagde v. State  of  Maharashtra  &
      Anr., AIR 1999 SCC 3734; Subedar  Singh  &  Ors.  v.  District  Judge,
      Mirzapur & Anr., AIR 2001  SC  201;   High  Court  of  Judicature  for
      Rajasthan v. P.P. Singh &  Anr.,  AIR  2003  SC  1029;  and  Registrar
      General, High Court of Judicature at Madras v. R. Perachi & Ors.,  AIR
      2012 SC 232).


      23.   In M. Gurumoorthy v. The Accountant General, Assam and  Nagaland
      & Ors., AIR 1971 SC 1850, the Constitution Bench of this Court held:
           “The unequivocal purpose and obvious intention of the framers of
           the Constitution in enacting Article 229 is that in  the  matter
           of appointments of officers and servants of a High Court  it  is
           the Chief Justice or his  nominee  who  is  to  be  the  supreme
           authority and there can be  no  interference  by  the  executive
           except  to  the  limited  extent  that  is   provided   in   the
           Article……Thus, Article 229 has a distinct and  different  scheme
           and contemplates full freedom to the Chief Justice in the matter
           of appointments of officers and servants of the High  Court  and
           their conditions of service.”




      24.   In this Case, this Court spelt  out  the  powers  of  the  Chief
      Justice of the High Court in the matters of appointment  of  staff  of
      the High Court, but this Court did not lay down in any  way  that  the
      Chief Justice  can  exercise  such  powers  in  contravention  of  the
      provisions of Articles 14 and 16  of  the  Constitution  while  making
      appointments in the establishment of the High Court.


      25.   In H.C. Puttaswamy &  Ors.  v.  The  Hon’ble  Chief  Justice  of
      Karnataka High Court, Bangalore & Ors., AIR 1991 SC 295, while dealing
      with a similar situation and interpreting the  provisions  of  Article
      229 (2)  of  the  Constitution  and  Karnataka  State  Civil  Services
      (Recruitment to Ministerial Posts) Rules, 1966, this  Court  held  the
      appointments made by the Chief  Justice  of  the  High  Court  without
      advertising the vacancies as invalid being violative  of  Articles  14
      and 16(1) of the Constitution.  The Court came to the said  conclusion
      as  the  appointments  were  made  without  following  the   procedure
      prescribed in the Rules. The Court further observed:
           “While the administration of the Courts has perhaps, never  been
           without its critics, the method of recruitment followed  by  the
           Chief Justice appears to be without parallel…..……The methodology
           adopted by the Chief Justice was manifestly  wrong  and  it  was
           doubtless deviation from the course of law which the High  Court
           has to protect and preserve.
                 The judiciary is the custodian of constitutional principles
           which are essential to the maintenance of rule of law. It is the
           vehicle for the protection of a set of values which are integral
           part of our social and political philosophy. Judges are the most
           visible actors in the  administration  of  justice.  Their  case
           decisions  are  the  most  publicly  visible  outcome.  But  the
           administration of justice is just not deciding  disputed  cases.
           It involves great deal more than that. Any realistic analysis of
           the administration of justice  in  the  Courts  must  also  take
           account of the  totality  of  the  judges  behaviour  and  their
           administrative roles. They may appear to be only  minor  aspects
           of the administration of justice, but collectively they are  not
           trivial. They constitute in our opinion, a substantial  part  of
           the mosaic which represents the  ordinary  man’s  perception  of
           what the Courts are and how the Judges go about their work.  The
           Chief Justice is the prime force in the High Court. Article  229
           of the Constitution provides that appointment  of  officers  and
           servants of the High Court shall be made by the Chief Justice or
           such other Judge or officer of the Court as may be  directed  by
           the Chief Justice. The object of this Article was to secure  the
           independence of the High Court which cannot be regarded as fully
           secured unless the authority to appoint  supporting  staff  with
           complete control over them is vested in the Chief Justice. There
           can be no disagreement on this matter. There is imperative  need
           for total and absolute administrative independence of  the  High
           Court. But the Chief Justice or any other  Administrative  Judge
           is not an absolute ruler. Nor he is  a  free  wheeler.  He  must
           operate in the clean world of law; not in the  neighbourhood  of
           sordid atmosphere. He has a duty to ensure that in carrying  out
           the administrative functions, he is actuated by same  principles
           and values as those of the Court he is serving. He cannot depart
           from and indeed must  remain  committed  to  the  constitutional
           ethos and traditions of his calling. We  need  hardly  say  that
           those who are expected to oversee the conduct  of  others,  must
           necessarily  maintain  a  higher  standards   of   ethical   and
           intellectual rectitude. The public expectations do not  seem  to
           be less exacting.”                      (Emphasis added)


      (See also: State of Assam v. Bhubhan Chandra Datta & Anr., AIR 1975 SC
      889).


      26.   In Binod Kumar Gupta & Ors. v. Ram Ashray  Mahoto  &  Ors.,  AIR
      2005  SC  2103,  this  Court  did  not  accept  the  contention   that
      appointment could be made to Class-IV post in Subordinate Courts under
      the Civil Court Rules without advertisement in the newspapers inviting
      applications for the posts as that would lead to lack of  transparency
      and violation of the provisions of Article 16 of the Constitution. The
      Court terminated the services of such appointees who had  worked  even
      for 15 years observing that the Court otherwise “would  be  guilty  of
      condoning a gross irregularity in their initial appointment.”


      27.   To say that the Chief  Justice  can  appoint  a  person  without
      following the procedure provided under Articles 14 and 16  would  lead
      to an indefinite conclusion that the Chief  Justice  can  dismiss  him
      also without holding  any  inquiry  or  following  the  principles  of
      natural justice/Rules etc., for as per Section 16 of  General  Clauses
      Act, 1897 power to appoint includes power  to  remove/suspend/dismiss.
      (Vide: Pradyat Kumar Bose v. The Hon’ble  Chief  Justice  of  Calcutta
      High Court, 1956 SC 285; and Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh & Anr. v.
      L.V.A. Dikshitulu & Ors., AIR 1979 SC 193).
           But  as  no  employee  can  be  removed  without  following  the
      procedure prescribed by law or  in  violation  of  the  terms  of  his
      appointment, such a  course  would  not  be  available  to  the  Chief
      Justice. Therefore, the natural corollary of this is  that  the  Chief
      Justice cannot make any appointment in contravention of the  Statutory
      Rules, which  have  to  be  in  consonance  with  the  scheme  of  our
      Constitution.


      28.   In State of West Bengal & Ors. v. Debasish Mukherjee & Ors., AIR
      2011 SC 3667, this Court again dealt with the  provisions  of  Article
      229 of the Constitution  and held that the Chief Justice cannot  grant
      any relief to the employee of the  High  Court  in  an  irrational  or
      arbitrary manner unless the Rules provide for such exceptional relief.
      The order of the Chief Justice must make reference to the existence of
      such exceptional circumstances and the order must  make  it  so  clear
      that there had been  an  application  of  mind  to  those  exceptional
      circumstances  and  such  orders  passed  by  the  Chief  Justice  are
      justiciable. While deciding the matter, the court placed  reliance  on
      its earlier judgment of the Constitution Bench in State of U.P.&  Ors.
      v. C.L. Agrawal & Anr., AIR 1997 SC 2431.


      29.   Thus, in view of the above, the law can  be  summarised  to  the
      effect that the powers under  Article  229  (2)  of  the  Constitution
      cannot be  exercised  by  the  Chief  Justice  in  an  unfettered  and
      arbitrary manner. Appointments should be made giving adherence to  the
      provisions of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution and/or such Rules
      as made by the legislature.


      30.   In today’s system, daily labourers  and  casual  labourers  have
      been  conveniently  introduced  which  are  followed  by  attempts  to
      regularise them at a subsequent stage.  
Therefore, most of  the  times
      the  issue  raised  is  about  the  procedure   adopted   for   making
      appointments indicating an improper exercise of discretion  even  when
      the rules specify a particular mode to be adopted.  
There  can  be  no
      doubt that the employment whether of Class IV, Class III,  Class II or
      any other class in the High Court or courts  subordinate  to  it  fall
      within the definition of  “public  employment”.  
Such  an  employment,
      therefore, has to  be  made  under  rules  and  under  orders  of  the
      competent authority.


      31.   In a democratic set up like ours, which is governed by  rule  of
      law, the supremacy of  law  is  to  be  acknowledged  and  absence  of
      arbitrariness has been consistently described as essence  of  rule  of
      law. Thus, the powers have to be canalised and not unbridled so as  to
      breach  the  basic  structure  of  the   Constitution.   Equality   of
      opportunity in matters of employment being the constitutional  mandate
      has always been  observed.  The  unquestionable  authority  is  always
      subject  to  the  authority  of  the  Constitution.   The  higher  the
      dignitary, the more objectivity is expected to be observed. We do  not
      say that powers should be curtailed. What we want to say is  that  the
      power can be exercised only to the width  of  the  constitutional  and
      legal limits.  The date of retirement of every employee is well  known
      in advance and therefore, the number of vacancies likely to  occur  in
      near future in a particular cadre is always  known  to  the  employer.
      Therefore, the exercise to fill up the vacancies at the earliest  must
      start  in  advance  to  ensure  that  the  selected  person  may  join
      immediately after availability of the post, and hence, there may be no
      occasion to appoint any person on ad-hoc basis for the reason that the
      problem of inducting the daily labourers who are ensured of a  regular
      appointment subsequently has to be avoided and a fair  procedure  must
      be adopted giving equal opportunity to everyone.


      32.   It has been rightly said:
           “Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things,  but  in
           doing ordinary things extraordinary well.”


      33.   We had the advantage of the response given by  the  High  Courts
      and the State.  Some of the  States  like  Jharkhand,  Kerala,  Madhya
      Pradesh, Orissa, Sikkim and  Uttrakhand  have  pointed  out  in  their
      respective affidavits that the recruitment of most of  the  posts  are
      made  by  centralised  selection  and  some   of   those   posts   are
      transferable.  Some States like Jharkhand have pointed out that  there
      is a centralised recruitment of all the posts but  division  wise  and
      are transferable within the division.  Some of the States like  Punjab
      & Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have pointed out that  they  have  already
      drafted the rules providing for centralised recruitment.  The State of
      Himachal Pradesh and the High Court  thereof  have  shown  inclination
      towards the centralised recruitment.  In the State of Madhya  Pradesh,
      though rules do not provide for centralised recruitment but it  is  so
      done under the  administrative order of the Chief Justice of the  High
      Court.  Other States and the High Courts have  also  made  suggestions
      that  it  is  the  need  of  the  hour  to  provide  for   centralised
      recruitment.


      34.   We would like to  make  it  clear  that  the  High  Court  is  a
      constitutional  and  an  autonomous  authority  subordinate  to  none.
      Therefore, nobody can undermine the constitutional  authority  of  the
      High Court, and therefore the purpose to hear this  case  is  only  to
      advise the High Court that if its rules are not in consonance with the
      philosophy of our Constitution and the same may  be  modified  and  no
      appointment in contravention thereof should be made. It  is  necessary
      that there  is  strict  compliance  with  appropriate  Rules  and  the
      employer is bound to adhere to the norms of Articles 14 &  16  of  the
      Constitution before making any recruitment.


      35.   In view of the above, the appeal stands  disposed  of  with  the
      following directions:
        i) All High Courts are requested to re-examine the statutory  rules
           dealing with the appointment of staff in the High Court as  well
           as in the subordinate courts and in case any of the rule is  not
           in conformity and consonance with the provisions of Articles  14
           and 16 of the Constitution, the same may be modified.
       ii) To fill up any vacancy for any post either in the High Court  or
           in courts subordinate to the High Court, in strict compliance of
           the statutory rules so made.  In case any appointment is made in
           contravention of the statutory rules, the appointment  would  be
           void ab-initio irrespective of any class  of  the  post  or  the
           person occupying it.
      iii) The post shall be filled up by issuing the advertisement  in  at
           least two newspapers and one of  which  must  be  in  vernacular
           language having wide circulation in the  respective  State.   In
           addition thereto, the names may be requisitioned from the  local
           employment exchange and the vacancies may be advertised by other
           modes also e.g. Employment News, etc.   Any  vacancy  filled  up
           without advertising as prescribed hereinabove, shall be void ab-
           initio and would remain unenforceable  and  inexecutable  except
           such appointments which are permissible to be filled up  without
           advertisement, e.g., appointment on compassionate grounds as per
           the rules applicable.   Before  any  appointment  is  made,  the
           eligibility as well as suitability of all candidates  should  be
           screened/tested while adhering to the reservation policy adopted
           by the State, etc., if any.
       iv) Each High Court may examine and decide within  six  months  from
           today  as  to  whether  it  is  desirable  to  have  centralised
           selection of  candidates  for  the  courts  subordinate  to  the
           respective  High  Court  and  if  it  finds  it  desirable,  may
           formulate the rules to carry out that  purpose  either  for  the
           State or on Zonal or Divisional basis.
        v) The High Court concerned or the subordinate court  as  the  case
           may be, shall undertake the exercise of recruitment on a regular
           basis at least once a year for existing vacancies  or  vacancies
           that are likely to occur within the said  period,  so  that  the
           vacancies  are  filled  up  timely,  and  thereby  avoiding  any
           inconvenience or shortage of staff as it will also  control  the
           menace of ad-hocism.


      36.   Before parting with the case, we record our deep appreciation to
      Shri P.S. Narasimha, learned senior counsel for  rendering  invaluable
      assistance to the court as Amicus Curiae.
            Copy of the judgment be sent to the Registrar  General/Registrar
      (Administration) of all the High Courts by this Registry directly  and
      the said officer is requested to place the  same  before  the  Hon’ble
      Chief Justice for information and appropriate action.





                 …………......................J.
                        (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)





      ……….........................J.
             (J. CHELAMESWAR)





      ……….........................J.
       (M.Y. EQBAL)
      New Delhi;
      February 12, 2014.














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