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Friday, May 26, 2017

We have already held that there were large scale malpractices at the examination process and the State was entitled to take appropriate remedial action. In the context of the occurrence of such malpractice obviously there can be two classes of candidates: those who had resorted to malpractice and others who did not. By the impugned action, no doubt, all of them were treated alike. Whether such herding together would amount to the denial of the equal protection guaranteed under Article 14? is the question. Identifying all the candidates who are guilty of malpractice either by criminal prosecution or even by an administrative enquiry is certainly a time consuming process. If it were to be the requirement of law that such identification of the wrong doers is a must and only the identified wrongdoers be eliminated from the selection process, and until such identification is completed the process cannot be carried on, it would not only result in a great inconvenience to the administration, but also result in a loss of time even to the innocent candidates. On the other hand, by virtue of the impugned action, the innocent candidates (for that matter all the candidates including the wrong doers) still get an opportunity of participating in the fresh examination process to be conducted by the State. The only legal disadvantage if at all is that some of them might have crossed the upper age limit for appearing in the fresh recruitment process. That aspect of the matter is taken care of by the State. Therefore, it cannot be said that the impugned action is vitiated by lack of nexus with the object sought to be achieved by the State, by herding all the candidates at the examination together.

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                      CIVIL APPEAL NOS.5680-83  OF 2017
   (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.19570-19573 OF 2016)

Gohil Vishvaraj Hanubhai & Others            …   Appellants

Versus

State of Gujarat & Others                                …   Respondents

                               J U D G M E N T

CHELAMESWAR, J.

1.    Leave granted.


2.    These appeals are preferred against the final judgement dated 27  June
2016 of the High court of Gujarat in Letters Patent Appeal No.  73  of  2016
in Special Civil Application No. 11149 of 2015 with  Letters  Patent  Appeal
No.  74  of  2016  in  Civil  Application  No.  11685  of  2015  with  Civil
Application No.1066 of 2016 in Letters Patent Appeal No.  74  of  2016  with
Special Civil Application No  11149  of  2015.  The  facts  leading  to  the
instant litigation are as follows:

3.    The Appellants herein are candidates who successfully appeared in  the
examination conducted by the Respondents for  recruitment  to  the  post  of
Revenue Talati but were not appointed.

4.    The State of Gujarat decided to create a new post of  Revenue  Talati,
under the  control  of  the  Revenue  Department.  Revenue  talatis  are  to
maintain revenue records, collect revenue etc. The creation of  these  posts
is meant to ease the burden on existing talati-cum-mantris  who  were  under
the control of the  Panchayat  Department,  performing  duties  relating  to
maintenance of land records and various duties incidental thereto.

5.    A total of 1800 posts of Revenue Talati were created by  a  Government
Resolution dated 23.10.2008. Ordinarily recruitment to such post is  carried
out by Gujarat Subordinate Service Selection Board (GSSSB).  The  board  was
requested to do so.  The board expressed  its  inability  to  undertake  the
task within the time frame decided by the state.

6.    Given the urgency of the situation, the Revenue board of the State  of
Gujarat decided  to  undertake  the  recruitment  process  by  itself.   The
proposal was approved by the State by  a  Resolution  dated  4.12.2013  (for
convenience GR-I) of the General Administration Department.  By  another  GR
dated  11.12.2013,  the  Revenue  Talati  Recruitment  Committee  (hereafter
COMMITTEE) was constituted under  the  chairmanship  of  Revenue  Inspection
Commissioner, who is an Ex-Officio Secretary to the State  of  Gujarat  with
Collector, Ahmedabad and  Collector,  Gandhinagar  and  Joint  Secretary  of
Revenue department as Members of the COMMITTEE, to “carry out the  procedure
of direct recruitment” and matters incidental thereto  and  subject  to  the
various limitations imposed under the said GR.   The  COMMITTEE  decided  to
avail the assistance of Gujarat Technological University  (hereinafter  GTU)
for conducting the examination.[1]

7.    On 15.1.2014 an advertisement for filling up of 1500 posts of  Revenue
Talatis was published. Performance of the candidates at  an  objective  type
written examination for 100  marks  was  stipulated  to  be  the  basis  for
selection.  The examination was conducted in 2691  centres  spread  over  33
districts. 7,53,703 candidates appeared in the examination.

8.    A day  prior  to  the  examination,  i.e.,  15.02.2014,  a  crime  was
registered in F.I.R. No.46 of 2014 in Sector-7 police  station,  Gandhinagar
under sections 406, 420 and  144  of  the  Indian  Penal  Code  against  two
persons, namely  Kalyanish  Mulsinh  and  Nileshbhai  Umeshbhai  Shah.   The
allegation is that they had collected money from some of the candidates  who
were to appear in the said examination by assuring them appointments.

9.    However  the  examination  process  went  ahead.  In  the  process  of
evaluating the OMR sheets, it was noticed that a large number of OMR  sheets
had specific markings. On 26.05.2014 the  police  authorities  informed  the
Chairman of the COMMITTEE that during  interrogation  of  the  two  arrested
persons, it emerged that they had advised the candidates to put a  ‘b’  mark
on the right side of the OMR sheet.

10.   Thereafter, the entire data was sent to a forensic science  laboratory
for further investigation. The investigation revealed 284  OMR  sheets  with
the specific mark. The COMMITTEE decided to eliminate those candidates  from
consideration.  Therefore,  a  provisional  merit  list  was   declared   on
10.10.2014. 8465 candidates were placed in the list.

11.   In the meanwhile, complaints were received  by  different  authorities
of the State alleging the commission of a large number  of  malpractices  in
connection with the examination:

-     a complaint from Bhubhai Damor on 17.10.2014.

-     The Collector, Sabrakantha District forwarded a complaint received  by
him from Mr R.D. Patel detailing various irregularities.

-     Similar complaint of irregularities was  addressed  to  the  Principal
Secretary,  General  Administration  Department  by  one   Kameshbhai   from
Rupakheda, District Dahod.

-      Another  complaint  was  filed  in  the   local   crime   branch   of
Surendranagar against one Hiren Narottambhai Kaoisha alleging  that  he  had
collected an amount of Rs.1.55 crores from 62 candidates.

-     Further complaint alleging that one Dhirubhai Bhil,  who  was  working
as a peon in the office  of  the  Secretary,  Land  Reforms  and  one  woman
employee  from  the  same  office  had  accepted  money  from  a  number  of
candidates promising  to  ensure  that  these  candidates  would  clear  the
examination. The Secretary, Land  Reforms  was  also  the  Chairman  of  the
Recruitment Committee.

12.   In view of receipt of a large  number  of  complaints,  the  COMMITTEE
probed into the matter.   Some irregularities  were  noticed.  For  example,
127 candidates belonging to one family were placed in the provisional  merit
list. 178 candidates were found to have given  same  residential  addresses.
Both these sets of candidates had 47 candidates in common etc.

13.   The  COMMITTEE  thought  it  fit  to  cancel  the  entire  examination
process.  Accordingly,  Government  issued  orders  by  a  Resolution  dated
03.07.2015 (hereafter GR-II) cancelling  the  recruitment  process.  It  was
further ordered inter alia thereunder:

“3.   On cancelling the entire  recruitment  procedure  for  filling-up  the
1500 posts of Revenue Talati class and by  adding  900  vacancies  from  the
other years, it is,  hereby,  resolved  to  fill-up  the  total  2400  posts
through Gujarat Subsidiary Service Selection Board.

4.    As stated at No.1, the candidates, whose name  figured  in  the  list,
whose upper age limit is  about  to  attain,  now,  as  they  shall  not  be
entitled to appear in the examination that shall  be  conducted  now,  as  a
special case, a relaxation of five years is given in the upper age limit.”



14.   Aggrieved by the abovementioned GR,  the  appellants  herein  filed  a
Writ  Petition  (Special  Civil   Application   No.11149/2015)   seeking   a
declaration that the GR was illegal and arbitrary. Further  the  Petitioners
filed an application (Civil  Application  No.  11685  of  2015)  seeking  to
restrain the  Respondents  from  publishing  any  fresh  advertisements  for
recruitment. The Gujarat High Court vide an Interim Order  dated  14.12.2015
disposed of Civil Application No.11685 of 2015 allowing the  Respondents  to
proceed with fresh recruitment for 980 seats.  The  Petitioners  filed  LPAs
No.73 and 74 of 2016 challenging the 14.12.2015 order. The Petitioners  also
filed  an  application  seeking  a  stay  on  fresh  recruitment  being  LPA
No.74/2016. The Gujarat High Court dismissed all  applications  and  appeals
vide the impugned judgment holding that the decision of  the  COMMITTEE  was
not unreasonable since there was some material on the  basis  of  which  the
decision was made, viz. the various allegations  that  have  cast  a  shadow
over the sanctity of the recruitment process. Hence this appeal.

15.   The  appellants  argued  (i)  that  cancellation  of  the  examination
without any  investigation  or  proof  of  the  allegations  of  a  vitiated
examination process is illegal; (ii) the  legality  of  the  GR-II  must  be
tested on the touchstone of the  principle  of  ‘Wednesbury  Reasonableness’
and the principle of proportionality; (iii)  Tested  in  the  light  of  the
twin principles mentioned above, the  decision  of  the  COMMITTEE  is  both
unreasonable and disproportionate to  the  alleged  mischief,   unreasonable
since it is based on  the  irrelevant  consideration  of  the  embarrassment
caused to the government and disproportionate since the allegations  pertain
to  a  small  number  of  candidates  whose  candidature  could  have   been
segregated and rejected.

 16.  Two questions need to be examined:

(1)   What are the principles which govern the jurisdiction  of  the  Courts
which exercise the power of judicial review of administrative action in  the
context of a situation  like  the  one  presented  by  the  facts  of  these
appeals;

(2)    Whether  those  legal  principles  are  strictly  followed   by   the
respondents while taking the impugned decision?



17.   The basic principles governing the judicial review  of  administrative
action are too well settled.  Two judgments which are frequently  quoted  in
this regard are - Associated Provincial Picture Houses  Ltd.  v.  Wednesbury
Corporation[2] and Council of Civil Service Unions  v.  Minister  for  Civil
Service[3].

18.   Lord Diplock in his celebrated opinion in  Council  of  Civil  Service
Unions summarised the principles as follows:

“… Judicial review has I think developed  to  a  stage  today  when  without
reiterating any analysis of the steps by  which  the  development  has  come
about, one can conveniently classify under  three  heads  the  grounds  upon
which administrative action is subject to control by  judicial  review.  The
first ground I would call “illegality,” the second “irrationality”  and  the
third “procedural impropriety.” That is not to say that further  development
on a case by case basis may not in course of time  add  further  grounds.  I
have in mind particularly  the  possible  adoption  in  the  future  of  the
principle of “proportionality” which is  recognised  in  the  administrative
law of several of our fellow members of  the  European  Economic  Community;
but to dispose of the instant case the three already well-established  heads
that I have  mentioned  will  suffice.  By  “illegality”  as  a  ground  for
judicial review I mean that the  decision-maker  must  understand  correctly
the law that regulates his decision-making power and  must  give  effect  to
it. Whether he has or not is par excellence a  justiciable  question  to  be
decided, in the event of dispute, by those persons, the judges, by whom  the
judicial power of the state is exercisable. By “irrationality” I  mean  what
can by now  be  succinctly  referred  to  as  “Wednesbury  unreasonableness”
(Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd. v. Wednesbury Corporation  [1948]
1 KB 223). It applies to a decision which is so outrageous in  its  defiance
of logic or of accepted moral standards that  no  sensible  person  who  had
applied his mind to the question to be decided could  have  arrived  at  it.
Whether a decision falls within this category is a question that  judges  by
their training and experience should be well equipped  to  answer,  or  else
there would be something badly wrong with our judicial  system.  To  justify
the court's exercise of this role, resort I think is today no longer  needed
to Viscount Radcliffe's ingenious explanation in Edwards v. Bairstow  [1956]
AC 14 of irrationality as a ground for a court's reversal of a  decision  by
ascribing it to an inferred though unidentifiable  mistake  of  law  by  the
decision-maker. “Irrationality” by now can stand upon its  own  feet  as  an
accepted ground on which a decision may be attacked by  judicial  review.  I
have described the  third  head  as  “procedural  impropriety”  rather  than
failure to observe basic rules of natural justice or  failure  to  act  with
procedural  fairness  towards  the  person  who  will  be  affected  by  the
decision. This is because susceptibility to judicial review under this  head
covers also failure by an  administrative  tribunal  to  observe  procedural
rules that are expressly laid down in the legislative  instrument  by  which
its jurisdiction is conferred, even where such failure does not involve  any
denial of natural justice. But the instant case is not  concerned  with  the
proceedings of an administrative tribunal at all.”

It can be seen from the above extract, Lord Diplock identified  three  heads
under which judicial review is undertaken, i.e.,  illegality,  irrationality
and procedural impropriety. He also recognised the possibility of new  heads
such as ‘proportionality’ being identified  in  future.   He  explained  the
concepts of the three already identified heads.  He declared that  the  head
‘irrationality’ is synonymous with ‘Wednesbury unreasonableness’.

19.   The principle laid down in Council of Civil Service  Unions  has  been
quoted with approval by this Court in Tata Cellular  v.  Union  of  India[4]
and Siemens Public Communication v. Union of India[5].

20.   Normally while exercising the power of judicial review,  Courts  would
only examine the decision making process of the  administrative  authorities
but not the decision itself.  The said principle has been repeatedly  stated
by this Court on number of occasions.[6]

21.   We shall now examine the questions raised by  the  appellants  in  the
light  of  the  abovementioned  principles  in  which  judicial  review   of
administrative action is undertaken.

The 1st submission of the appellant is that there is no proof  of  tampering
with  the  examination  process  on  a  large  scale  as  asserted  by   the
respondent, but there are only allegations of such tampering, the  truth  of
which has never been tested by any established process of  law.   Therefore,
the decision of the respondent to cancel the examination in its entirety  is
without any basis in law.

22.   Purity of the examination process - whether such  examination  process
pertains to assessment of the  academic  accomplishment  or  suitability  of
candidates  for  employment  under  the  State  -   is   an   unquestionable
requirement of the rationality of any examination process.   Rationality  is
an indispensable aspect of public administration under our  Constitution[7].
 The authority of the State to take appropriate  measures  to  maintain  the
purity of any  examination  process  is  unquestionable.   It  is  too  well
settled a principle of law in light of  the  various  earlier  decisions  of
this Court that where there are  allegations  of  the  occurrence  of  large
scale malpractices in the course of the conduct of any examination  process,
the  State  or  its   instrumentalities   are   entitled   to   cancel   the
examination.[8] This Court has on numerous occasions approved the action  of
the State or its instrumentalities  to  cancel  examinations  whenever  such
action is believed to be necessary on the basis of some reasonable  material
to indicate that the examination process is  vitiated.  They  are  also  not
obliged to seek proof of each and every fact which vitiated the  examination
process.[9]

23.   Coming to the case on hand, there  were  allegations  of  large  scale
tampering with the examination  process.   Scrutiny  of  the  answer  sheets
(OMR) revealed that there  were  glaring  aberrations  which  provide  prima
facie proof of the occurrence of a large scale tampering of the  examination
process.   Denying power to  the  State  from  taking  appropriate  remedial
actions in  such  circumstances  on  the  ground  that  the  State  did  not
establish the truth of those allegations in accordance  with  the  rules  of
evidence relevant for the proof of facts in a Court  of  law  (either  in  a
criminal or a civil  proceeding),  would  neither  be  consistent  with  the
demands of larger public interest nor would be conducive to  the  efficiency
of administration.   No binding precedent is brought  to  our  notice  which
compels us to hold otherwise. Therefore, the 1st submission is rejected.

24.   The next question is whether the impugned decision could be  sustained
judged in the light of the principles of ‘Wednesbury  unreasonableness’.  In
the language of Lord Diplock, the principle is that “a decision which is  so
outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards  that  no
sensible person who had applied his mind  to  the  question  to  be  decided
could have arrived at it”.  Having regard to the nature of  the  allegations
and the prima facie proof indicating the possibility of occurrence of  large
scale tampering with the examination  process  which  led  to  the  impugned
action, it cannot be said that the impugned action of the respondent is  “so
outrageous in its defiance of logic” or “moral standards”.   Therefore,  the
2nd submission of the appellant is also required to be rejected.

25.   We are left with the 3rd question  –  whether  the  magnitude  of  the
impugned action  is  so  disproportionate  to  the  mischief  sought  to  be
addressed  by  the  respondents  that  the  cancellation   of   the   entire
examination process affecting lakhs of candidates  cannot  be  justified  on
the basis of doctrine of proportionality.

26.   The doctrine of proportionality, its origin and its  application  both
in the context of legislative and administrative action  was  considered  in
some detail by this Court in Om Kumar & Others v. Union of India,  (2001)  2
SCC 386.

This Court drew a distinction between administrative  action  which  affects
fundamental freedoms[10] under Articles  19(1)  and  21  and  administrative
action which is violative of  Article  14  of  the  Constitution  of  India.
This Court held  that  in  the  context  of  the  violation  of  fundamental
freedoms;

“54.  …..  the  proportionality  of  administrative  action  affecting   the
freedoms under Article 19(1) or Article 21 has been tested by the courts  as
a  primary  reviewing  authority  and  not  on  the  basis   of   Wednesbury
principles.   It may be that the courts did not  call  this  proportionality
but it really was.


This Court, thereafter took note of the  fact  that  the  Supreme  Court  of
Israel recognised proportionality as a  separate  ground  in  administrative
law to be different from unreasonableness.

27.   It is nobody’s case before us that the impugned  action  is  violative
of any of the fundamental freedoms of the appellants.  We  are  called  upon
to examine the proportionality of the  administrative  action  only  on  the
ground of violation of Article 14.  It is  therefore  necessary  to  examine
the principles laid down by this Court in this regard.

This Court posed the question in Omkar’s Case;

61.   When does the court apply, under Article 14, the proportionality  test
as a  primary  reviewing  authority  and  when  does  the  court  apply  the
Wednesbury rule as  a  secondary  reviewing  authority?   From  the  earlier
review of basic principles, the answer becomes simple.   In  fact,  we  have
further guidance in this behalf.

and concluded;

“66.   It  is  clear  from  the  above  discussion  that  in   India   where
administrative  action   is   challenged   under   Article   14   as   being
discriminatory,  equals  are  treated  unequally  or  unequals  are  treated
equally, the question is for the Constitutional Courts as primary  reviewing
courts to consider correctness of the level of  discrimination  applied  and
whether it is excessive and whether  it  has  a  nexus  with  the  objective
intended to be achieved by the administrator.  Here  the  court  deals  with
the merits of the balancing action of the administrator and is, in  essence,
applying “proportionality” and is a primary reviewing authority.

67.   But where an administrative action is challenged as “arbitrary”  under
Article 14 on the basis of E.P. Royappa v. State of T.N., (1974)  4  SCC  3,
(as in cases where punishments in disciplinary cases  are  challenged),  the
question  will  be  whether  the  administrative  order  is  “rational”   or
“reasonable” and the test then is the Wednesbury  test.   The  courts  would
then be confined only to a secondary role and will only have to see  whether
the administrator has done well in his primary role, whether  he  has  acted
illegally or has omitted relevant factors from consideration  or  has  taken
irrelevant factors into consideration or whether his view is  one  which  no
reasonable person could have taken.  If his action does  not  satisfy  these
rules, it is to be  treated  as  arbitrary.   In  G.B.  Mahajan  v.  Jalgaon
Municipal Council, (1991) 3 SCC 91, Venkatachaliah,  J.  (as  he  then  was)
pointed out that “reasonableness” of the administrator under Article  14  in
the context of administrative law has to be judged from the stand  point  of
Wednesbury rules.  In Tata Cellular v. Union of India,  (1994)  6  SCC  651,
Indian Express Newspapers Bombay (P) Ltd. v. Union of India,  (1985)  1  SCC
641, Supreme Court Employees’ Welfare Assn. v. Union of India, (1989) 4  SCC
187, and U.P. Financial Corpn. V. Gem Cap (India) (P)  Ltd.,  (1993)  2  SCC
299, while judging whether the administrative action  is  “arbitrary”  under
Article 14 (i.e.  otherwise  then  being  discriminatory),  this  Court  has
confined itself to a Wednesbury review always.

68.   Thus, when administrative action is attacked as  discriminatory  under
Article 14, the principle of primary review is for the  courts  by  applying
proportionality.  However, where  administrative  action  is  questioned  as
“arbitrary” under Article 14, the principle of  secondary  review  based  on
Wednesbury principles applies.”



28.   The submission by the appellants is that the mere fact  that  some  of
the candidates resorted to some malpractice cannot lead  to  the  conclusion
that the entire examination process is required to be cancelled as it  would
cause undue hardship to huge  number  of  innocent  candidates.    In  other
words, the appellants urge this Court to apply the primary review test.



29.   We have already held that there were large scale malpractices  at  the
examination process and the State was entitled to take appropriate  remedial
action.  In the context of the  occurrence  of  such  malpractice  obviously
there  can  be  two  classes  of  candidates:  those  who  had  resorted  to
malpractice and others who did not.   By the impugned action, no doubt,  all
of them were treated alike.  Whether such herding together would  amount  to
the denial of the equal protection  guaranteed  under  Article  14?  is  the
question.

Identifying all the candidates who  are  guilty  of  malpractice  either  by
criminal prosecution or even by an administrative  enquiry  is  certainly  a
time consuming process.  If it were to be the requirement of law  that  such
identification of the  wrong  doers  is  a  must  and  only  the  identified
wrongdoers  be  eliminated  from  the  selection  process,  and  until  such
identification is completed the process cannot be carried on, it  would  not
only result in a great inconvenience to the administration, but also  result
in a loss of time even to the innocent candidates.  On the  other  hand,  by
virtue of the impugned action, the innocent candidates (for that matter  all
the candidates including the  wrong  doers)  still  get  an  opportunity  of
participating in the fresh  examination  process  to  be  conducted  by  the
State.  The only legal disadvantage if at all is that  some  of  them  might
have crossed the upper age limit for  appearing  in  the  fresh  recruitment
process.   That aspect of  the  matter  is  taken  care  of  by  the  State.
Therefore, it cannot be said that the impugned action is  vitiated  by  lack
of nexus with the object sought to be achieved by the State, by herding  all
the candidates at the examination together.

30.   We see no reason to interfere with the judgment  under  appeal.    The
appeals are, therefore, dismissed, with no order as to costs.


                                                             ….………………………….J.
                                                   (J. Chelameswar)



                                                             …….……………………….J.
                                             (Abhay Manohar Sapre)
New Delhi;
April 28, 2017
-----------------------
[1]    The Recruitment Committee has resolved to hand over the procedure  of
setting question paper, taking examination and declaring  results,  thereof,
to the Gujarat  Technological  University,  and  hence,  for  the  aforesaid
purpose, you are requested to send the rates chargeable for  each  procedure
to the Department, at the earliest.    – Letter  of  the  Member  Secretary,
Recruitment Committee to Registrar, GTU dated 15.1.2014
[2]     (1948) 1 KB 223
[3]     1984 3 All ER 935 (HL)

[4]    (1994) 6 SCC 651
[5]    AIR 2009 SC 1204
[6]    Chairman, All India Railway Recruitment Board Vs. K  Shyam  Kumar,  (
2010) 6 SCC 614 at para 21; Sterling Computers  Ltd.  v.  M.N.  Publications
Ltd., (1993) 1 SCC 445; State of A.P. v. P.V. Hanumantha Rao, (2003) 10  SCC
121
[7]    Ramana Dayaram Shetty v. International Airport Authority of India &
Others, (1979) 3 SCC 489
[8]    Nidhi Kaim v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Others, (2016) 7 SCC  615  at
para 23: “Even otherwise, the argument of the appellants is required  to  be
rejected for the following reasons: Under the scheme  of  our  Constitution,
the executive power of  the  State  is  co-extensive  with  its  legislative
power. In the absence of any  operative  legislation,  the  executive  power
could certainly be exercised to protect the public interest.  The  right  of
each one of the appellants herein for admission to the medical  colleges  in
the State of Madhya Pradesh is itself an emanation of the State’s  executive
action. No doubt, even executive action of  the  State  can  create  rights.
Unless there is something either in the Constitution or law which  prohibits
the abrogation or abridgment of rights, it is permissible for the  State  to
do so by executive action in accordance with  some  specified  procedure  of
law. No doubt, that the overarching  requirement  of  Constitution  is  that
every action of the State must be  informed  with  reason  and  must  be  in
public interest. Nothing has been brought to our notice which prohibits  the
impugned executive action. If it is established that the adoption of  unfair
means  on  large  scale  resulted  in  the  contamination  of  the  entrance
examination (PMT) process of successive years, the State  undoubtedly  would
have the power to take appropriate action to protect  the  public  interest.
I, therefore, reject the submission of the appellants.”;
      In the case of Union of India v. Anand Kumar Pandey, 1994  5  SCC  663
large scale cheating occurred in the Railway Recruitment Board  Examination,
specifically in two rooms of a center. The Board took a decision to  subject
the successful candidates from that center to  a  re-examination.  This  was
set aside by the Central Administrative Tribunal on the ground that  such  a
decision was taken in violation of the principles  of  natural  justice.  It
was  held  that  there  cannot  be  any  straight-jacket  formula  for   the
application of the principles of natural justice. This Court  did  not  find
any fault with the decision to conduct a fresh examination.;
      In the case of Chairman All India Railway Recruitment Board &  Another
v. K. Shyam Kumar  &  Others,  2010  6  SCC  614,  large-scale  malpractices
surfaced in the written test. The recruitment board ordered a retest,  which
was challenged in the Central Administrative  Tribunal.  The  tribunal  held
that a retest was valid.  High  Court  reversed  invoking  the  wednesbury’s
principles of reasonableness. This Court held  that  in  the  face  of  such
large scale allegations supported by reports  of  the  vigilance  department
and the CBI, the High Court was wrong in reversing the tribunal’s decision.
[9]     Nidhi Kaim v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Others, (2016) 7 SCC 615
see para 42.1 and 42.2 at 649
[10]   See paras 52 to 54


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