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Direction by the High Court to recommend a name by the State Screening Committee to UPSC was without

BAIDYANATH YADAV V. ADITYA NARAYAN ROY & ORS –  CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8847  OF 2019 [Arising out of SLP (CIVIL) No. 12370 of 2018] WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8848 OF 2019 [Arising out of SLP (CIVIL) No. 13927 of 2018]  – November 19, 2019.

The Bench of Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, Justice Ajay Rastogi held that the direction issued by the High Court directing the State Screening Committee to recommend Respondent No. 1’s name to the UPSC was completely without jurisdiction

The Court observed that, the direction issued by the High Court directing the State Screening Committee to recommend Respondent No. 1’s name to the UPSC was completely without jurisdiction. Upon reaching a finding of arbitrariness in the selection process, the Court could at the most have issued a direction to the State Screening Committee to reassess the names of all candidates by giving due consideration to all relevant documents. As already observed above, it was not for the Court to sit in judgment over the merit of the candidates and substitute its reasoning for that of the Screening Committee. Be that as it may, in light of the above discussion, we conclude that there is no case to direct the reconsideration of the seventeen candidates before the Screening Committee, or to interfere with the appointments already made for the Selection Year 2014.

The Court further observed that, in that case of, R.S. Dass v. Union of India [1986 Supp SCC 617 : (1987) 2 ATC 628] we may state at the outset that giving of reasons for decision is different from, and in principle distinct from, the requirements   of   procedural   fairness.   The   procedural fairness is the main requirement in the administrative action. The ‘fairness’ or ‘fair procedure’ in the administrative action ought to be observed. The Selection Committee cannot be an exception to this principle. It must take a decision reasonably without being guided by extraneous or irrelevant consideration

As there is no such requirement mandating the disclosure of reasons in the relevant rules, regulations and guidelines, there is no doubt in our minds that the procedure adopted by the State Screening Committee cannot be faulted Court thus found that the State Screening Committee was correct in considering only the two names recommended by the departmental Selection Committee, we now turn our attention to the crucial question of whether Respondent No. 1’s name was wrongly excluded by the departmental Selection Committee itself, on account of any bias, malice or arbitrariness. Thus finally the court allowed the instant appeals and therefore set aside the decision of the High Court.

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