Read Judgment: State Of U.P vs. V. Chunni Lal & Others 

Pankaj Bajpai

New Delhi, November 24, 2021: The Supreme Court has ruled that two persons cannot be directed to be appointed to a single post. 

A Division Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice B.V. Nagarathna therefore observed that the direction given by the High Court for appointment of first Respondent (Chunni Lal) without disturbing the appointment of Ajay Shankar Pandey, for the common single post, cannot be sustained. 

The background of the case was that the selection process for 35 posts of Deputy Collector was initiated by the U.P. Public Service Commission (UPPSC) and accordingly, a Combined State Service Examination was held in the year 1985. After the exam, two candidates namely, Ram Subhag Singh (General Category candidate) and Ramesh Kumar Yadav (OBC category candidate) did not join their post, resulting in a vacant seat. 

Accordingly, the PSC recommended names of Digvijay Singh and Chunni Lal for the appointment on the post of Deputy Collector, which was acted upon by the State Government by issuing a letter to the Director General, Medical and Health Services (DGMHS), Lucknow for their medical examination. 

Challenging the same, Ajay Shankar Pandey (2nd Respondent) approached the High Court, which directed the PSC to recommend his name. In compliance with the said direction, the Commission withdrew the recommendation made in favour of Chunni Lal. Aggrieved by the same, Chunni Lal knocked the door of the High Court, which directed the State to re-consider the matter of Chunni Lal for appointment to the post of Deputy Collector considering the subsequent recommendation made by the PSC in his favour. However, the High Court clarified that the appointment of the second Respondent shall not be disturbed in any manner. 

After considering the arguments, the Apex Court noted that while rejecting the representation, it was specifically observed that the first Respondent cannot be appointed on the post of Deputy Collector on which he is claiming the appointment as second Respondent has been appointed pursuant to the order passed by the High Court. 

Further, there is no vacant post and even no supernumerary post can be created, added the Court. 

Despite the above, the Top Court found that the High Court has directed the State to appoint first Respondent solely on the basis of some subsequent recommendation by the Public Service Commission.

The Apex Court however found that during the pendency of the present proceedings, first Respondent has retired in the post of Deputy Transport Commissioner on attaining the age of superannuation and thus, judgment passed by the High Court is not capable of being implemented. 

Hence, the Apex Court allowed the appeal. 

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