Reservations in Appointment is not creation of rigid slots for employment

Reservation in appointment:

Article 16(4) of Constitution of India:

Subject to any permissible reservations i.e.either Social (Vertical) or Special (Horizontal), opportunities to public employment and selection of candidates must purely be based on merit.Any selection which results in candidates getting selected against Open/General category with less merit than the other available candidates will certainly be opposed to principles of equality. There can be special dispensation when it comes to candidates being considered against seats or quota meant for reserved categories and in theory it is possible that a more meritorious candidate coming from Open/General category may not get selected. But the converse can never be true and will be opposed to61the very basic principles which have all the while been accepted by this Court. Any view or process of interpretation which will lead to incongruity as highlighted earlier, must be rejected.

Even going by the present illustration, the first female candidate allocated in the vertical column for Scheduled Tribes may have secured higher position than the candidate at Serial No.64. In that event said candidate must be shifted from the category of Scheduled Tribes to Open / General category causing a resultant vacancy in the vertical column of Scheduled Tribes. Such vacancy must then enure to the benefit of the candidate in the Waiting List for Scheduled Tribes – Female.

Reservation is not rigid:

Reservations, both vertical and horizontal, are method of ensuring representation in public services. These are not to be seen as rigid “slots”, where a candidate’s merit, which otherwise entitles her to be shown in the open general category, is foreclosed, as the consequence would be, if the state’s argument is accepted. Doing so, would result in a communal reservation, where each social category is confined within the extent of their reservation, thus negating merit. The open category is open to all, and the only condition for a candidate to be shown in it is merit, regardless of whether reservation benefit of either type is available to her or him.

Fixation of seniority in a newly created cadre

Interpretation of Rule 27 of the Rajasthan Commercial Taxes Subordinate Services (General Branch) Rules, 1975:

Delay in appointment made through multiple advertisement:

“Seniority in respect of persons appointed on the posts included in the cadre of service shall be as per the provisions of these rules and shall be fixed from the date of their appointment. Those appointed on ad hoc or urgent temporary basis, they shall not be considered after their regular selection.

Provided

(1)That the seniority inter-se of the persons appointed to the Service before the commencement of the rules, and/or in process of integration of the Services of the pre-reorganisation of States of Rajasthan or the Services of the new State of Rajasthan established by the State Re-organisation Act, 1956, shall be determined, modified or altered by the Appointing Authority on an ad hoc basis;

(2)That the persons selected and appointed as a result of a selection, which is not subject to review and revision, shall rank senior to the persons who are selected and appointed as a result of subsequent selection. Seniority inter se of persons selected on the basis of seniority-cum-merit and on the basis of merit in the same selection shall be the same as in the next below grade;”

Keeping in mind that the advertisements (for filling the entire cadre, in both the quotas or streams of recruitment) were issued one after the other, and more importantly, that this was the first selection and recruitment to a newly created cadre,the delay which occurred on account of administrative exigencies (and also the completion of procedure, such as verification of antecedents) the seniority of the promotees given on the basis of their dates of appointment, is justified by Rule 27 in this case.

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Teachers after superannuation may continue in service for entire academic year

University Statute on Superannuation:

The appellants relied on Statute No. 16.24 of the University, applicable to them,contending that they were entitled to continue beyond the last date of the month in which each of them attained the age of superannuation, till the “30th of June following”in terms of that provision. That statute reads as follows:

“16.24 (1) The age of superannuation of a teacher of the University, whether governed by the new scale of pay or not shall be sixty-five years.(2) No extension in service beyond the age of superannuation shall be granted to any teacher after the date of commencement of these statutes.provided that a teacher whose date of superannuation does not fall on June 30, shall continue on service till the end of the academic session, that is June 30, following and will be treated as on re-employment from the date immediately following his superannuation till June, 30, following.(Provided further that such physically and mentally fit teachers shall be reappointed for a further period of two years, after June, 30, following the date of their superannuation as were imprisoned for taking part in freedom struggle of 1942 and are getting freedom fighters pension) Provided also that the teachers who were re-appointed in accordance with the second proviso as it existed prior to the commencement to the Kumaun University (Twenty-third amendment) First Statute, 1988 and a period ofone year has not elapsed after the expiry of the period of their reemployment, may be considered for re-appointment for a further period of one year.”

Teachers to continue till June 30th

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Is hundred percent reservation in Government service permissible in law?

Validity of 100% reservation to the Scheduled Tribe candidates out of whom 33.1/3% shall be women for the post of teachers in the schools in the scheduled areas in the State of Andhra Pradesh.

(1) What is the scope of paragraph 5(1), Schedule V to the Constitution of India?

The Governor in the exercise of powers under Para 5(1), Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, can exercise the powers concerning any particular Act of the Parliament or the legislature of the State. The Governor can direct that such law shall not apply tothe Scheduled Areas or any part thereof. The Governor is empowered to apply such law to the Scheduled Area or any part thereof in the State subject to such exceptions and modifications as he may specify148in the notification and can also issue a notification with retrospective effect.

2(a) Does the provision empower the Governor to make a new law?

The Governor is empowered under Para 5(1), Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, to direct that any particular Act of Parliament or the Legislature of the State, shall not apply to a Scheduled Area or apply the same with exceptions and modifications.The Governor can make a provision within the parameters of amendment/ modification of the Act of Parliament or State legislature.The power to make new laws/regulations, is provided in Para 5(2),Fifth Schedule of the Constitution for the purpose mentioned therein,not under Para 5(1) of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of India.

(b) Does the power extend to subordinate legislation?

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Payment of salary to employees during Corona lock down 2020

Validity of directions given for full payment of wages:

The petitioner’s case is that notifications are arbitrary, illegal, irrational and unreasonable and contrary to the provisions of law including Article 14, Article 19(1)(g). Notifications are unreasonable and arbitrary interference with the rights of petitioner Employers under Article 19(1)(g). Notifications are also contrary to the principles of Equal work Equal Pay and also No work No pay, for it does not differentiate between the workers who are working during the lockdown period in establishment such asthe petitioner who have been permitted to operate during the lockdown period and the workers who had not worked at all. 5.The Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, cannot invoke Section 10(2)(l) or any other provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005,to impose financial obligations on the private sector such as payment of wages. The Central Government has the power to allocate funds for emergency response, relief, rehabilitation, mitigation of disasters under Disaster Management Act. The ultimate onus for any compensation towards workers shall ultimately be of Government and the said liability cannot be shifted upon the employers in the Private establishment. The impugned notifications have the effect of completely negating the statutory provisions under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

Effect of Lock down:

It cannot be disputed that the lockdown measures enforced by the Government of India under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, had equally adverse effect on the employers as well as on employees. Various Industries,establishments were not allowed to function during the said period and those allowed to function also could not function to their capacity.There can be no denial that lockdown measures which were enforced by the Government of India had serious consequences both on employers and employees.

Paying capacity:

Some of the industries and establishments may bear the financial burden of payment of wages or substantial wages during the lock-down period to its workers and employees. Some of them may not be able to bear the entire burden. A balance has to be struck between these two competitive claims.The workers and employees although were ready to work but due to closure of industries could not work and suffered. For smooth running of industries with the participation of the workforce, it is essential that a via media be found out.

Directions by Supreme Court:

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Departmental proceedings after acquittal

Acquittal under Prevention of Corruption Act:

Acquittal by a criminal court would not debar an employer from exercising the power to conduct departmental proceedings in accordance with the rules and regulations. The two proceedings, criminal and departmental, are entirely different. They operate in different fields and have different objectives. In the disciplinary proceedings, the question is whether the Respondent is guilty of such conduct as would merit his removal from service or a lesser punishment, as the case may be, whereas in the criminal proceedings, the question is whether the offences registered against him under the PC Act are established, and if established, what sentence should be imposed upon him. The standard of proof, the mode of inquiry and the rules governing inquiry and trial in both the cases are significantly distinct and different. Continue reading “Departmental proceedings after acquittal”

Back wages for the period of suspension.

Back wages after set aside of conviction:

This Court in Ranchhodji Chaturji Thakore (supra) considered the case of an employee who sought back wages for the period he was kept out of duty during the pendency of a criminal case for his involvement in an offence under Section 302, IPC. The claim of the Petitioner therein was that he was entitled to full wages on his acquittal by the Criminal Court. This Court rejected the said submission by holding that the question of payment of back wages would arise only in case of termination of service, pursuant to findings recorded in a departmental enquiry. In the event of the dismissal order being set aside by the Court, the delinquent employee would be entitled to claim back wages as he was unlawfully kept away from duty by the employer. This Court was of the opinion that an employee against whom criminal proceedings are initiated would stand on a different footing in comparison to an employee facing a departmental inquiry. The employee involved in a crime has disabled himself from rendering his services on account of his incarceration in jail. Subsequent acquittal by an Appellate Court would not entitle him to claim back wages.

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What is the meaning of “experience as company secretary”?

Facts:

Appellant was working as Assistant Company Secretary for the period between June 2008 to May 2010 in Utkal Investments Limited and that she was working as Management Trainee in the Delhi Stock Exchange Association Limited for the period between April 2005 to June 2006, and as the Management Trainee in ONGC for the period between May 2003 to June 2004.

It was held that: Her appointment as Management Trainee cannot be equated and/or considered as appointment ‘as’ a Company Secretary.

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Marriage does not change the caste.

Marriage of a Vaishya with a Jatav.

Appellant was born in “Agarwal” family. She married Dr. Veer Singh, who happens to belong to “Jatav” Community (said to be one of the Scheduled Castes). A caste certificate dated 29.11.1991 was issued by District Magistrate/Collector, Bulandshahar certifying the appellant as of Scheduled Caste (Jatav). Based on the academic qualifications and the caste certificate, she was appointed initially as a Post Graduate Teacher (Hindi) vide letter dated 16.12.1993 at Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1, Pathankot, Punjab. During the course of her service, she completed her M.Ed and served the institution for about 21 years as teacher.
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Appointment of persons with criminal background in police forcce

Acquittal by itself not enough for appointment:

The question involved in these appeals is whether the candidature of the respondents who had disclosed their involvement in the criminal cases and also their acquittal could be canceled by the Screening Committee on the ground that they are not suitable for the post of constable in Chandigarh Police and whether the court can substitute its views for the decision taken by the Screening Committee.

Screening Committee examined each and every case of the respondents and reasonings for their acquittal and taken the decision. While deciding whether a person involved in a criminal case has been acquitted or discharged should be appointed to a post in a police force, nature of offence in which he is involved, whether it was an honourable acquittal or only an extension of benefit of doubt because of witnesses turned hostile and flaws in the prosecution are all the aspects to be considered by the Screening Committee for taking the decision whether the candidate is suitable for the post. As pointed out earlier, the Screening Committee examined each and every case and reasonings for their acquittal and took decision that the respondents are not suitable for the post of Constable in Chandigarh Police. The procedure followed is as per guideline 2(A)(b) and object of such screening is to ensure that only persons with impeccable character enters police force. While so, the court cannot substitute its views for the decision of the Screening Committee.

In a catena of judgments, the importance of integrity and high standard of conduct in police force has been emphasized. As held in Mehar Singh case, the decision of the Screening Committee must be taken as final unless it is mala fide. In the case in hand, there is nothing to suggest that the decision of the Screening Committee is mala fide. The decision of the Screening Committee that the respondents are not suitable for being appointed to the post of Constable does not call for interference.

[Source: Union Territory, Chandigarh  vs Pradeep Kumar, decided by SC on 8 January, 2018]