Mere inclusion of candidate in a selection list does not confer upon them a vested right of appointment: SC

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Commissioner of Police and Anr v. Umesh Kumar

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3334 OF 2020 decided on October 07, 2020

Bench: Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee, JJ.


In this case, the respondent participated in the selection process to the 2013 batch of constables (Executive)- Male in Delhi Police. The candidates were successful in the written result and the selection process was initiated. Unsuccessful candidates challenged the answer keys before the Central Administrative Tribunal. An Expert Committee was appointed by the Competent Authority in Delhi Police which found that there were typographical errors in the answer keys.  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. Hence, the present appeal.


Whether the ousted candidate had vested right of appointment?


The Court relying upon Punjab SEB v. Malkiat Singh (2005) 9 SCC 22 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 Supreme Court differentiated it’s judgment from Rajesh Kumar v. State of Bihar (2013) 4 SCC 690, wherein the process of evaluation of answer scripts by the Bihar Staff Selection Commission, had been found to be flawed but the Court even then refused to oust those individuals from service who did not make the grade after re-valuation of the result since they had been in service for nearly seven years. However, in the present case, 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.

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