This Judgement stands with far-reaching implications.
The Supreme Court has made it clear that "selections to public employment should be on the basis of merit and appointing people with lesser merit ignoring those who have secured more marks would be in violation of the Constitution."
Clearly, the top court has upheld an order of the Jharkhand High Court which had earlier allowed the appointment of 43 persons for the post of Police Sub-Inspectors on the basis of their merit after authorities prepared a revised list correcting the irregularities. This became evident from the observation of a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Indira Banerjee.
They made this observation in their judgement today while upholding an order of Jharkhand High Court which allowed the appointment of 43 persons for the post of Police Sub-Inspectors on the basis of their merit after authorities prepared a revised select list correcting the irregularities.
Legal records revealed that an advertisement was issued for the appointment to the posts of Police Sub-Inspectors, Attendants (Sergeant) and Company Commanders by the Home Department of the Government of Jharkhand in 2008.
The final result was published and 382 candidates were selected. Soon, a High-Level Committee was constituted by the state government to examine the irregularities in the selection process. Then, unsuccessful candidates filed petitions in the Jharkhand High Court, Ranchi.
During the pendency of the petitions in the JHC, the appointments of 42 candidates made on the basis of the original select list were cancelled.
As many as 43 people were appointed on the basis of the revised select list that was prepared in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee headed by the Director-General of Police, Jharkhand.
The high court had observed that 43 petitioners cannot be held responsible for the irregularities committed by the authorities in the matter of their selection and there is no allegation of fraud or misrepresentation on their part.
The top court rejected the plea filed by some intervenors saying that they have no right for appointment to posts beyond those advertised.
The SC Bench said:'There is no doubt that selections to public employment should be on the basis of merit. Appointment of persons with lesser merit ignoring those who have secured more marks would be in violation of the Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.'
Also, the Bench said that relief granted to 43 petitioners is mainly on the ground that they have already been appointed and they have served the State for some time. As such, they cannot be punished for no fault of theirs, observed the Bench.