Appointment—Regularisation of

The Constitution Bench in Secretary, State of Karnataka v.Uma Devi, (2006) 4 SCC 1, has held that illegal appointments cannot be asked to be regularized as that would amount to violating the fundamental right of equal opportunity of employment to those who have been denied such opportunity. The Constitution Bench decision has overruled dozens of earlier decisions taking a view otherwise so as to show sympathy in favour of those who got or managed their appointments illegally, i.e., without complying the requirement of equal opportunity of employment to all others, came to the office on account of their individual resources and managing continuance for quite some time or long time, then claim a substantive right on the basis of long tenure, they have managed to continue. In other words, the incumbent comes to the office by virtue of a pick and choose method, usurps office by back door or whatever other term one may use, despite obviously it being short of compliance of requirement of Article 16(1) of the Constitution of India, but having maintained such benefit to continue for quite some time which normally has the support of appointing authorities also, the beneficiary comes to claim a sense of sympathy on the basis of such long continued usurpation of office. In other words, a violator of law claims a substantive right for having violated law continuously for quite a long time with regard to a public office.
In the matter of appointment there is no principle of adverse possession but a plea somewhat similar thereto many a times is raised that since one has continued to work for quite long time, now he should be allowed to stay in the office for rest of tenure otherwise his family would suffer. A situation is created where sympathy is sought not in favour of victims, i.e., those who were denied right of equal opportunity of employment but in favour od those who have violated law, contravened it, breached it with impunity and have continued to do so for quite some time, and now, boldly and blatantly claim a kind of right to retain such benefit of breach of law, for all times to come, and for that purpose, various pleas in the name of equity, sympathy, compassion etc., are raised and pleaded. Many a times, such claim has found favour in the Courts of Law. Fortunately, the Constitution Bench, after having a retrospect of all earlier authorities, has taken a clear stand against such kind of favour shown to those who have come in public office, by denying right of equal opportunity to others. The Court in unequivocal terms has observed that any favour shown to such violators would be a misplaced sympathy.
Regularisation Rules, if any, is an attempt to give a cover to such illegal appointments and therefore, may have to be tested on the anvil of Constitutional validity under Article 14 and 16(1) of the Constitution. Devi Prasad Misra v. State of U.P., (2014) 3 UPLBEC 2436.

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