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On December 5, 1991, a notice was issued under the hand of the Director, Social Welfare Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, inviting applications from persons working in the department for appointment to the post of P.G. Assistant in M.A. (Political Science) in the Government Higher

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 NON-REPORTABLE

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7390 OF 2011 

 [ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NO.20405 OF 2008]

V. GOPAL ... APPELLANT

 VERSUS

P. GANASELVAUDAYAKUMARI & ORS. ... RESPONDENTS

 J U D G M E N T 

Aftab Alam, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. On December 5, 1991, a notice was issued under the hand of the 

Director, Social Welfare Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, inviting 

applications from persons working in the department for appointment to the 

post of P.G. Assistant in M.A. (Political Science) in the Government Higher 

 2

Secondary School for the blind. The last date for submission of application 

was December 15, 1991. The educational qualifications required from the 

candidates were a Master's degree in Political Science and a Bachelor's 

degree in Education. Apart from the academic qualification prescribed in the 

notice, Government Order No.511-Education dated March 16, 1959, 

provided that no person would be eligible for appointment to a post of the 

School Assistant in Government School for the blind unless he possessed the 

Government Certificate of Competency in teaching the blind. The 

Government Order, however, made a relaxation, in case no suitable and 

qualified person was available and in that regard provided as follows:-

 "Provided that if a suitable and qualified persons not available a 

 person not possessing the certificate or Senior Diploma may be 

 appointed but such person must obtain the Senior Diploma in 

 the teaching the Blind within a period of Four Years from the 

 date of his appointment to the said post."

The respondent - P. Ganaselvaudayakumari was at that time working as 

Secondary Grade Teacher in the Government School for the blind, 

Sivaganga. She possessed the necessary academic qualifications and she 

also had the Senior Diploma in teaching the blind as required under the 

Government Order dated March 16, 1959. She made an application for the 

post of P.G. Assistant (Political Science) but instead of sending it directly to 

the office of the Director, Social Welfare, she submitted it to the Headmaster 

 3

of her school, on December 12, 1991. The Headmaster forwarded her 

application to the District Social Welfare Officer, Sivaganga, with whom it 

lay for some time before he finally sent it with a covering letter dated 

December 24, 1991 to the Office of the Director, Social Welfare. The 

application was, thus, received in that office on December 25, 1991, ten days 

after the last date for submission of applications. In the meanwhile, the 

appellant was appointed to the post vide proceedings dated December 24, 

1991. 

3. It may be noted here that at the time of his appointment, the appellant 

did not possess the Senior Diploma in teaching the blind and hence, his 

appointment was subject to the condition that he should take the diploma in 

question within a period of three years, failing which he would be reverted 

back as Assistant. 

4. The respondent challenged the appointment of the appellant in 

preference to her by filing O.A. No.5603/1993 before the Tamil Nadu 

Administrative Tribunal, Madras. The Tribunal held it was not open to her 

to question the appellant's appointment since her own application was not 

submitted within time and, therefore, could not be taken into consideration. 

The Tribunal further noticed that by the time the case was taken up for 

hearing before it, the respondent had acquired the Senior Diploma in 

 4

teaching the blind. The Tribunal, therefore, did not interfere with his 

appointment and disposed of the O.A. with a direction to the Director of 

Rehabilitation of the Disabled to consider the case of the respondent for 

posting as P.G. Assistant in the available vacancy or in the next vacancy. 

5. Dissatisfied with the order of the Tribunal, the respondent moved the 

Madras High Court in W.P. No.8482/2003. The High Court, very curiously, 

held the appellant responsible for the District Social Welfare Officer, 

Sivaganga, not sending the respondent's application so as to reach the office 

of the Director, Social Welfare, in time. The suspicion of the High Court is 

based solely on the fact that the appellant worked as an Assistant in the same 

Directorate. The High Court observed:

 "Therefore, it may be possible that the fourth respondent, 

 working as an Assistant in the very same Directorate, after 

 coming to know of the petitioner's eligibility, might have 

 successfully blocked the petitioner's application reaching the 

 Directorate. The allegation of mala fide was also alleged 

 against the second respondent Department in paragraph 6 of the 

 Original Application. It was not denied by the official 

 respondents."

 (emphasis added)

The High Court further observed:

 "The needle of suspicion points towards the fourth respondent's 

 complicity in this matter, who was working in the very same 

 Directorate and who belonged to the Ministerial service and 

 5

 who had no teaching experience whatsoever before his 

 appointment, was having an eye over the very same post."

The High Court further observed that the application of the appellant was 

liable to be rejected on the threshold because he belonged to ministerial 

service and did not have any teaching experience.

6. The High Court, accordingly, directed for the removal of the appellant 

from the post of P.G. Assistant (Political Science) and for the appointment 

of the respondent in his place. The appellant has now brought this matter 

before this Court. 

7. We completely fail to see how the High Court could make such grave 

and serious charge against the appellant purely on assumption. We have 

gone through the petition filed by the respondent before the Administrative 

Tribunal. In paragraph 7 of her petition she stated as follows:

 "The applicant states that though she had been 

 representing to respondents from 2.4.90 itself that she is 

 fully qualified to the post of P.G. Assistant, her 

 representations went unanswered. The respondent could 

 have rejected her representation dt. 24.6.92 that Mr. 

 V.Gopal had been appointed. But suppressing this fact of 

 irregular appointment in a malafide manner the 

 respondents had not replied to the representations of the 

 applicant. Hence the action of the respondents is 

 discriminatory and arbitrary." 

 6

She never even alleged that the appellant was instrumental in causing her 

application to reach the office of the Director, Social Welfare, long after the 

last date for submission of applications. There was, therefore, no occasion 

for the appellant to give any reply to her vague allegation of mala-fide.

8. Secondly, we see no sanction for the view that a person belonging to 

the ministerial service was not qualified for appointment to the post. From 

the plain language of the appointment notice, there is no such restriction 

discernible.

9. The respondent's challenge to the appointment of the appellant on the 

post of PG Assistant must, therefore, fail for the simple reason that her own 

application in response to the appointment notice was submitted long after 

the last date fixed in the notice and hence, it could not be taken into 

consideration. 

10. We repeatedly asked the counsel why did the respondent not sent her 

application to the Director's office directly and why she submitted it to the 

Headmaster of her school. Was there any rule or administrative instruction 

obliging her to make the application only through the head of the institution 

where she was working at that time? (In the notice inviting applications 

there was no such restriction!) We were not made aware of any provision, 

statutory or administrative, making such restriction. It, therefore, cannot be 

 7

said that the respondent was following any rule or instruction in adopting 

that course. If her application reached the office of the Director, Social 

Welfare late, she alone is responsible for that. We, thus, find no merit in the 

respondent's challenge to the appointment of the appellant to the post in 

question.

11. The matter, however, does not seem to end here. In the proceedings 

dated December 24, 1991, by which the appellant was appointed, the date of 

his application is mentioned as July 17, 1991. This appears to us quite 

inexplicable as the notice inviting applications is itself dated December 5, 

1991. The counsel, appearing for the appellant, failed to give any 

satisfactory explanation for this anomaly. We, therefore, feel that the whole 

process of selection and appointment was quite irregular and unsatisfactory 

and in those circumstances, we are unable even to sustain the appointment of 

the appellant to the post of P.G. Assistant (Political Science). We, 

accordingly, direct the concerned authority to take fresh steps for filling up 

the said post in accordance with the rules. The process of selection and 

appointment must be completed within three months from today. Needless 

to say that every eligible candidate for the post on the date of the notice for 

appointment would be entitled to make application and selection will be 

made in accordance with the rules. 

 8

12. Since the appellant is working on the post for the past about 20 years, 

he would continue on it till a fresh appointment is made, as directed above. 

13. The appeal is disposed of with the aforesaid observations and 

directions. 

 .................................J.

 (Aftab Alam)

 .................................J.

 (R.M. Lodha)

New Delhi;

August 26, 2011. 

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “On December 5, 1991, a notice was issued under the hand of the Director, Social Welfare Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, inviting applications from persons working in the department for appointment to the post of P.G. Assistant in M.A. (Political Science) in the Government Higher

  1. The blatant error is Justice failed to take note that this is a Departmental Call for and not a State Govt call for, moreover the respondent’s counsel and the Justice should have known this application should only be forwarded through proper channel and not directly to the Directorate which is in-subordintaion. The denial of retrospective effect to the respondent after fighting this for so many years for a silly reason which Justice and the counsel’s advocate was not aware of is erroneous by means. Justice is not delivered here.

    Posted by GMKN_Chennai | September 8, 2011, 5:40 AM
  2. The Respondent may prefer the review stating that the G.Os relating to this and if this is the first time the question was raised by any tribunal / court – highlight the same

    Posted by GMKN_Chennai | September 8, 2011, 5:42 AM

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