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Union of India v. A. Shainamol, IAS

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) – the allocation of cadre is not a matter of right. A selected candidate has a right to be considered for appointment to the IAS but he has no such right to be allocated to a cadre of his choice or to his home state. Allotment of cadre is an incidence of service. The applicant as a candidate for the All-India Service with eyes wide open has opted to serve anywhere in the country.

Once an applicant gets selected to service, the scramble for the home cadre starts. The procedure for allocation of cadre is a mechanical process and admits no exception except in terms of Rule 7(4) which is to be read as proviso to Rule 7(3). The State has no discretion of allocation of a cadre at its whims and fancies. Therefore, the Tribunal or the High Court should have refrained from interfering with the allocation of cadre on the argument of alleged violation of the allocation circular. [Para 40]

Central Administrative Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1987 – Rule 6 – An application before the Central Administrative Tribunal is required to be filed where the applicant is posted for the time being or the cause of action wholly or in part has arisen.

The applicant in her Original Application has not laid any foundation as to how the Ernakulam Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal will have the jurisdiction to entertain an Original Application filed by her. It appears that the applicant had chosen the Ernakulam Bench for the reason that she was permanent resident of Kerala State. The applicant was not posted in the State of Kerala on the date of filing of the application. The applicant has not explained how the cause of action either wholly or partly had arisen within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal at Kerala. It may be noticed that Union had not raised objection about the entertainment of an Original Application filed by the applicant before the Ernakulam Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal. It appears that the applicant filed an application before the Ernakulam Bench for the reason that she was permanent resident in the State or may be for the reason, the order of allocation was received by her in the State of Kerala. Both of these reasons do not give rise to part of cause of action arising within the Jurisdiction of the Ernakulam Bench of Tribunal. At this stage, the applicant is not being non-suited on the ground that the Ernakulam Bench of the Tribunal had no jurisdiction. [Para 43 & 47]

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) – the observation of the High Court that there was a lack of consultation with the State of Kerala is not acceptable. Such consultation was not required to be carried out.

The finding of the High Court that the determination of total vacancies to be 89 was affected without any regard to cadre gap and on the ground that the requisition by the State Government was ignored as the rules and regulations warranted a mandatory consultation with the State of Kerala. We find that such conclusions are not supported by the documents on record including the additional affidavit filed by the Union. The findings of the High Court that the action of the Union was arbitrary as the 31 allocation to certain States was more than the cadre gap is again not sustainable as the 89 vacancies were allocated to the States on the basis of the norms as disclosed in the brief notes submitted before this Court. [Para 41]

Service Law – Even if the name of the candidate appears in the merit list, such candidate has no right to claim appointment.

Service Law – An OBC candidate, who has not availed relaxation or concession, had to be treated as general category candidate.

The applicant though belonging to OBC has not availed any relaxations or concessions admissible to OBC candidates. She was a general merit candidate, thus not entitled to OBC reserved seat in her State. She was allocated to Himachal Pradesh cadre as a general category candidate falling in Rule 7(3) in view of her merit position as a general category candidate.

Service Law – If a SC/ST or OBC candidate who has been found suitable for appointment against the unreserved vacancies can be appointed against the vacancy reserved for SC/ST or OBC, provided a conscious decision is taken with regard to the maintenance of efficiency of administration.

The decision of the Union to fill only 89 vacancies in the cadre of IAS cannot be permitted to be disputed. The High Court had exceeded its jurisdiction to order allocation of Kerala Cadre to the applicant without examining the policy decision of the Union to fill up only 89 vacancies.

Service Law – An SC/ST or OBC candidate selected against unreserved vacancy as a general merit candidate cannot make a grievance in respect of allocation of cadre but has a right to seek service as a reserved category candidate if that improves the selection of service.

Whether consultation in respect of allocation of cadre is required to be done with the State from which the candidate belongs or with the State to which the candidate is being allocated. ?

As a general category candidate, there was no occasion for consultation with State of Kerala as the applicant was not even eligible to be considered for allocation to the said State in terms of the allocation order. The reasoning given by the High Court that there was cadre deficiency, therefore, the applicant was entitled to be allocated is strange and bereft of any merit.

In fact, all the candidates including the applicant were put to notice as to how the cadre allocation would be made. But still, the applicant chose to claim home state though she was not eligible to be considered for such state. She had taken chance in appearing in the selection process but when she was unsuccessful in getting the home cadre, attempts were made to get into the home cadre on wholly untenable grounds.

The appeals are allowed and the orders passed by the High Court and the Tribunal are set aside and the original application filed by the applicant is accordingly dismissed.