The Commissioner of Police and Anr. Vs. Umesh Kumar

Case Number: Civil Appeal No. 3334 of 2020 arising out of Special Leave Petition (C) No. 3335 of 2019.

Judges Name: Hon’ble Justice Dhananjaya J, Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee J.

Order dated: 07.10.2020

Facts of the case:

  •  A notice was published on 27.01.2013 in the newspapers for filling up 523 vacancies for the post of ‘Constable (Executive) – Male’ in the Delhi Police. 39,597 Candidates appeared in the written examination which was held on 8 March 2014. This examination was cancelled by the Delhi Police, and a fresh written examination was held on 25 May 2014, which was cancelled as well. Finally, a written examination was conducted on 16 November 2014, consisting of one objective – type multiple choice question paper of 100 marks. After an evaluation of the OMR sheets, a list of 514 provisionally selected candidates was declared on 13 July 2015. Nine vacancies could not be filled up due to the unavailability of suitable candidates in the ex-servicemen category.
  • The respondents in this case were declared to be selected under the OBC category. During the course of scrutiny, it was found that a bonus mark had not been allocated to candidates whose height was measured at 178 centimetres or above at the time of the physical endurance and measurement test.
  • Some candidates approached the Central Administrative Tribunal challenged the answer keys in the written examination and claimed that they had not obtained marks for correct answers for question Nos. 17, 55, 56, 71, 75, 79, 86 and 90 of question booklet series ‘C’ as well as for the same questions of booklet series ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘D’ with different sequence numbers.
  • The Competent Authority in Delhi Police appointed an Expert Committee to examine all the issues and to submit its report after making “a master answer compendium and resultant answer key”. Meanwhile, the selection process was kept in abeyance. The results were revised later and as many as 123 candidates who have been selected earlier were ousted and 129 new candidates came in the selection list. The ousted candidates approached the Central Administrative Tribunal against this order and challenged it before the Delhi High Court. The High Court directed appointment of ousted candidates.

Supreme Court held:

  •  The supreme court observed the decision in Punjab SEB v Malkiat Singh (2005) 9 SCC 22 and held that the decision given by the Delhi High Court was contrary to law and mere inclusion of candidate in a selection list does not confer upon them a vested right of appointment.
  • The court further held that the revised result was declared even before offers of appointment were made to the respondents since the entire process of recruitment had been put in abeyance.
  • Therefore, it held that the High Court has been manifestly in error in issuing a mandamus to the appellants to appoint the respondents on the post of Constable (Executive) in Delhi Police. Thus, the Supreme court allowed the appeals and set aside the judgments of the High Court dated 6 December 2018 in Writ Petition (Civil) No.10143 of 2017 and 19 December 2018 in Writ Petition (Civil) No.13052 of 2018.

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