Chennai: Pointing out that though the RBI is a State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India, its employees are all cannot be said to be regular government employees, the Madras high court had set aside an order of a single judge, which upheld the decision of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission disqualifying a candidate from RBI, for suppressing facts in the application, after he was successful in the written examination.
Since the applicant E.Manoj Kumar has answered ‘No” to a question in the application form viz., ‘Are you a government employee’, the TNPSC withheld his result on the ground of suppression of material facts in the application form regarding the employment in the Reserve Bank of India, even though he was successful in the Group-I Service examination. Aggrieved he filed a petition and based on an interim order, he was selected for appointment to the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police. But, ultimately, the single judge dismissed his petition. Challenging the same, he filed the present appeal.
Allowing the appeal, a division bench comprising Justices K.K.Sasidharan and P.D.Audikesavalu said, “It is true that RBI is a State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India. Even then it cannot be said that its employees are all regular government employees”.
The bench directed the TNPSC to forward the name of the appellant to the government for taking further action to give him order of appointment within one week. The bench said clause 15 (g) of the Instructions to the candidates does not contain an indication with regard to the requirement to state the employment status in the application form. The said clause permits the applicant to apply directly to the TNPSC without routing it through the head of department. The only requirement was that he should inform the employer before submission of application and produce NOC while attending the certificate verification. The appellant satisfied this condition, as he obtained the NOC before submitting the application, after disclosing his intention to apply to the Group I post, the bench added.
The bench said in order to disclose the correct employment, there should be a specific column in the application form. Though 15 (g) and 19 (4) (ii) of the instructions contain not only government service but other services also, the fact remains that the relevant column in the application form contain only one service for disclosure viz., “Government Service”, it would not be possible for a Bank employee to record that he was a government employee. In cases such a declaration of service status was given by a bank employee indicating that he was a government servant, he would face the disqualification/debarment in view of Clause 19 of the instructions, the bench added.
The bench said the appellant very correctly indicated that he was not a government employee. However, his candidature was rejected. The other local body employees and bank employees who have recorded as if they belong to government service were not subjected to any such disqualification. “If we go by the tenor of the question, “Are you a government employee”, the bank employees who are claiming that they are government employees would suffer disqualification, as they have given a wrong statement. We therefore, reject the contention taken by the TNPSC on the basis of clause 19 of the instructions. The appellant has many first on his credit. Even the entry in question was correctly filled up by the appellant. He was not responsible for the preparation of an incorrect questionnaire by the TNPSC. We are therefore of the view that the appellant must succeed”, the bench added.