24 June 2024


Supreme Court

Rajbir Surajbhan Singh Vs. The Chairman, Institute of Banking Personnel Selection, Mumbai




Writ Petition is not maintainable as Respondent is not a creature of a statute and there are no statutory duties or obligations imposed on the Respondent

In facts of present case, an advertisement was issued by the Respondent inviting applications for appointment to posts of clerical cadre (Clerk-III) in Public Sector Banks. The Appellant participated in a Common Written Examination (CWE) and secured 110 marks out of 200. He was called for an interview by the Respondent. During the interview, he submitted a caste certificate dated 28th October, 2010, issued by the Naib Tehsildar, which shows that he belongs to Ahir community, which is recognized as Other Backward Class (OBC) as per the Resolutions of the Ministry of Welfare, Government of India. Another caste certificate was issued in the prescribed format to the Appellant by the Naib Tehsildar, declaring him as an OBC candidate belonging to Ahir community and that he does not belong to the 'creamy layer'.

The results were announced and the Appellant was informed that, his candidature for the examination has been cancelled as he could not produce the required certificate at the time of the interview. As per the advertisement, the candidates belonging to OBC category were required to produce a certificate issued during the period 1st April, 2013 and 31st March, 2015.

The Appellant filed a Writ Petition challenging the proceeding by which he was disqualified from the selection process, for appointment to the post of Clerk, which was dismissed by the High Court as not maintainable. The High Court was of the view that, the Respondent was not a State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India and there was no public function that was discharged by the Respondent. On said grounds, the High Court opined that, the Respondent is not amenable to writ jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

It is true that, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and the Chairmen of certain Public Sector Banks along with the Joint Secretary, Banking Division, Ministry of Finance are members of the governing body of the Respondent-Institute. There is no dispute that, the Respondent is not constituted under a statute. It is also not disputed that, the Respondent does not receive any funds from the Government. The Respondent is not controlled by the Government. A control which is merely regulatory under the statute or otherwise would not make the body 'State' under Article 12. As there is no control by the Government over the Respondent, the Respondent cannot be said to be falling within the expression 'State' under Article 12 of the Constitution of India.

In K.K. Saksena, present Court observed that, the Respondent therein would not be amenable to Writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, as the activities were voluntarily undertaken by the Respondents and there was no obligation to discharge certain activities which were statutory or of public character.

The Respondent-Institute has been set up for the purpose of conducting recruitment for appointment to various posts in Public Sector Banks and other financial institutions. The High Court is right in holding that, the Writ Petition is not maintainable against the Respondent. Conducting recruitment tests for appointment in banking and other financial institutions, is not a public duty. The Respondent is not a creature of a statute and there are no statutory duties or obligations imposed on the Respondent.

As the activity of the Respondent of conducting the selection process for appointment to the banks is voluntary in nature, it cannot be said that there is any public function discharged by the Respondent. There is no positive obligation, either statutory or otherwise on the Respondent to conduct the recruitment tests. The Respondent is not amenable to the Writ Jurisdiction under Article 32 or Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The appeal is dismissed.


K.K. Saksena v. International Commission on Irrigation & Drainage MANU/SC/1213/2014

Tags : Selection process Disqualification Legality

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