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Relegating Petitioner After 15 Years of Service in Bihar Admistrative Service Entails Adverse Civil Consequences: Supreme Court

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The Petitioner filed the present writ petition against the order passed by the First Respondent downgrading the Petitioner after serving as a member of the Bihar Administrative service for almost 15 years to Bihar Education Service without giving him an opportunity of hearing. The Supreme Court considered the above issue in the present case of Subash Kumar v. State of Bihar & Ors.

Brief Facts of the Case

The Bihar Public Service Commission invited applications for the 45th Combined Competitive Examination by publishing an advertisement in various newspapers. As the Petitioner participated in the exam and got selected, according to the order of merit, he was appointed into Bihar Administrative Service (BAS) vide order dated 21st March 2005. He later became a substantive member of BAS. Shri Baldeo Choudhary (Respondent No.5) also appeared for the same exam but could not become a member of BAS. 

He challenged his inconvenience by the Commission after 4 years by way of a writ petition before the High Court of Patna in 2008 & finally succeeded in convincing the learned Single Judge that an error was committed by the Commission in his evaluation. Later, the Division Bench of Patna High Court reframed the relief granted by the Single Judge in its Order.

The Division Bench confirmed that the Order remained restricted to revise the placement of the Original Petitioner (Baldeo Choudhary) who was aggrieved of his rights about the alleged error. 

Further, the State Government on 23rd July 2020 in its Order downgraded the petitioner to Bihar Education Service on a justification’ that action had been taken in conformity of the order of the Supreme Court dated 23rd October 2019 which was the subject matter of challenge at the instance of the petitioner in this proceedings. 

Arguments on the Behalf of the Petitioner 

The Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that the Petitioner had no objection concerning the appointment of Baldeo Choudhary who had succeeded in his rights on the dismissal of the appeal preferred by the Commission. The Petitioner was, however, aggrieved of downgrading his team from BAS to Bihar Education Service after he had provided almost 15 years’ of service.

Further, he was neither drawn up as a party to the writ petition nor was heard at any stage, which violated the principles of natural justice. It was also submitted that this Court confined the consideration for appointment of Baldeo Choudhary in his own right but the directions of this Court have been completely misread by the authorities.

Arguments on the Behalf of Respondents

The Counsel for the Respondents submitted that the Commission had no other option other than to revise the select list in compliance with the order dated 23rd October 2019 after placing Baldeo Choudhary at his place in the order of merit and consequence. The petitioner being last in the open category in Bihar Administrative Service was rightly relegated from BAS to Bihar Education Service.

Observation of the Court

The Court observed that even though the Division Bench of High Court in its judgment dated 29th November 2012 reframed the relief granted to Baldeo Choudhary, disturbing the select list which was recommended by the Commission of the candidates who had appeared for that exam according to an advertisement after serving for almost 15 years in their respective cadre assigned by the State Government was not in the interest of justice.

The Decision of the Court

After considering the view of this matter, the Supreme Court found that the writ petition deserved to succeed and was accordingly allowed. The impugned order dated 23rd July 2020 qua the petitioner was quashed.  

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