Published on: April 8, 2022 at 14:15 IST
The Two Judge Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh of the Supreme Court overturned the impugned judgment passed by the High Court of Uttarakhand bench, by allowing the appeal of the present respondent.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that a mere temporary appointment to fill the gap would not vest benefits of the post permanently.
The Two Judge Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh was hearing an appeal against the impugned judgment passed by the High Court of Uttarakhand bench, allowing the writ petition on a factual error by misconstruing the decision made in favor of the teaching faculty to that of the Registrar and other administrative staff.
The Apex Court while considering Classification Test & Policy Decisions of the State stated that:
1. A mere differential treatment on its own cannot be termed as an “anathema to Article 14 of the Constitution”.
2. When the differentiation is distinguishable with adequate demarcation duly identified, the object of Article 14 gets satisfied.
3. There is no way, courts could act like appellate authorities especially when a classification is introduced by way of a policy decision identifying the group of beneficiaries by analyzing the relevant materials.
4. The question as to whether a classification is reasonable or not is to be answered on the touchstone of a reasonable, common man’s approach, keeping in mind the avowed object behind it.
5. As long as the classification does not smack of inherent arbitrariness and conforms to justice and fair play, there may not be any reason to interfere with it.
The apex court stated that the law has established that an Appellant is not bound by any instructions issued by the Central Government, which would at worst be mandatory for Central Universities or Central Government Colleges that receive funds from the Central Government.
“Law has become quite settled that the Appellant is not bound by any direction issued by the Central Government which would at worst be mandatory to the Central Universities and the Central Government Colleges receiving funds.” the Court said.
The Apex Court stated that the High Court of Uttarakhand in our opinion has completely misconstrued the facts.
The Appellant nowhere has decided to accept and adopt the circular of the Central Government pertaining to the Registrars working in the Universities coming under its purview.
That is the absence of any legal right with a corresponding duty, a particular relief can never be asked for.
The Apex Court stated that the mere temporary appointment to fill the gap would not vest benefits of the post permanently.
“Merely because Respondent No. 1 was made to fill the gap by temporarily taking up the job of a Lecturer, he would never become one and so also a Lecturer, who might undertake the job of a Registrar. This is nothing but an administrative convenience borne out of a contingency.” The Court said.
That when the classification is distinct and clear having adequate rationale with due relation to the objective, there is no reason to hold otherwise by treating a Registrar at par with the Lecturers. The High Court has also not considered the financial implications as any decision would not rest with the respondent alone, but the entirety of the administrative staff.
As a result, the Apex court by stating that having pointed out the aforesaid wrong understanding of facts culminating in the decision impugned before we overturned the impugned judgment passed by the High Court of Uttrakhand bench.