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No longer inclined to entertain the writ petition under Article 32 in Larsgess Scheme: SC

Manjit and Ors v. Union of India and Anr

Writ Petition (Civil) No 78 of 2021

29 January 2021

The three Judge bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court consisting of Justice Dr. Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Sanjiv Khanna dismissed the appellant's plea seeking an order through the writ of mandamus to the Union of India to appoint the petitioners in their respective cadres.

The present application seeks the Court to direct the Railway Board (Union of India) to appoint the petitioners in their respective cadres to employees serving under Railway Administration and entered through the department through Larsgess Scheme.

(provided for an entry into service for certain wards of serving employees without undergoing a competitive selection consistent with the requirement of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution (Para 3))

On the grounds of the order dated 26 March 2019 in Narinder Saraswal v. Union of India, a bench of two judges permitted the petitioner to approach the authorities with an appropriate representation with a direction to consider it.

The parties contended that (i) a writ of mandamus should be issued directing the respondent to appoint the petitioners in their respective cadres (ii) or issue any other writ, order, or direction in the facts and circumstances of the case.

The response submitted by the Union of India in this regard in an order dated 6 March 2019, in the following terms:

"In compliance of the directions of the Hon'ble Punjab & Haryana High Court dated 27.04.2016 in CWP No.7714 of 2016, dated 14.07 .2017 in RA-CW-330-2017 and Orders of Hon'ble Supreme Court dated 08.01.2018 in SLP (C) No.508/2018, Ministry of Railways have revisited the LARSGESS Scheme duly obtaining legal opinion and consulted Ministry of Law & Justice. Accordingly, it has been decided to terminate the LARSGESS Scheme w.e.f. 27.10.2017, i.e., the date from which it was put on hold. Therefore, no further appointments should be made under the Scheme subject to the position mentioned in para 2 below.

2. As regards the cases where the wards had completed all formalities including Medical Examination under LARSGESS Scheme prior to 27.10.2017 and were found fit, but the employees are yet to retire, the matter is pending consideration before the Hon'ble Supreme Court and further instructions would be issued as per directions of the Hon'ble Court." (Para 3)

After referring to these orders mentioned above, the Court noted that:

Since the Scheme stands terminated and is no longer in existence, nothing further need be done in the matter. The Scheme provided for an avenue of a back door entry into the service of the railways. This would be fundamentally at odds with Article 16 of the Constitution. The Union government has with justification discontinued the Scheme. The petitioners can claim neither a vested right nor a legitimate expectation under such a Scheme. All claims based on the Scheme must now be closed. (Para 6)

Concluding, the Court held:

In view of the above factual background, we are not inclined to entertain the petition under Article 32. The grant of relief to the petitioners would only enable them to seek a back door entry contrary to the orders of this Court. The Union of India has correctly terminated the Scheme and that decision continues to stand. (Para 7)

Subsequently, dismissed the petition.

Swadheen Singh



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