1. These appeals arise out of the judgment dated 15 February, 1980 of the Learned Single Judge dismissing W.P. Nos. 8868, 2731 and 5756 of 1976.
2. The facts of the case in brief are :
The Karnataka Public Service Commissioner (KPSC) invited applications for recruitment to 50 posts of Tahsildars from persons who are already in service of the State Government. A notification in this behalf was published in the Karnataka Gazette dated 29th May, 1975. In response to the said notification the appellants and a large number of other candidates applied for selection to the said posts. The selections were to be made in accordance with the Karnataka Administrative Service (Tahsildars) (Recruitment) (Special) Rules, 1975 (hereinafter referred to as 'the 1975 Rules') read with Rules 7 to 16 of the Karnataka Recruitment of Gazetted Probationers (Class I and II Posts Appointment by Competitive Examinations) Rules 1966 (hereinafter called 'the 1966 Rules'). The selections were to be made under the aforesaid Rules by conducting a written examination and also by holding a viva-voce test, 200 marks were prescribed for the written examination and 100 marks were prescribed for the viva-voce test to be conducted later. It was further prescribed that the candidates equivalent to 10 times the number of posts to be filled up should be called for personality test (viva-voce test), on the basis of the marks obtained by the candidates in the written examination. In doing so, reservation in respect of S.C.s. and S.Ts., had also to be taken into account. On the basis of the merit in the written examination, the appellants were duly selected for attending the viva-voce test and they accordingly appeared before the KPSC. However, when the select list of the candidates was published, the names of the appellants did not find a place therein. Aggrieved by their non-selection, the appellants filed Writ Petitions challenging the validity of the 1975 Rules as also 1966 Rules and sought for quashing the select list published 3rd June, 1976. Upon hearing the parties, the Learned Single Judge did not find any merit in the Petitions and accordingly they were dismissed.
Aggrieved by the dismissal of the Writ Petitions, the appellants have preferred these appeals.
3. Sri Savanur, Learned Counsel for the appellant in W.A. No. 874 of 1980 mainly raised the following two contentions, viz. (i) the allocation of 100 marks (out of the total of 300 marks) for the viva-voce test under Rule 4 of the 1975 Rules lead to arbitrariness in the matter of final selection of candidates, and (ii) the mode of conducting the personality test by the KPSC was contrary to Rule 4(2) of the said Rules. Similar contentions were raised by Sri T. R. Rangaraju, the Learned Counsel appearing for the appellants in W.A. No. 955 of 1980.
4. Sri Savanur in support of the first contention placed reliance on the decisions of the Supreme Court in Ajay Hasia v. Khalid Mujib Sehravardi : (1981)ILLJ103SC and in Koshal Kumar Gupta v. State or J & K : 3SCR407 .
5. Sri Brahmarayappa, Learned Government Advocate urged that the observations in the said decisions cannot be pressed into service in these cases as the later decision of the Supreme Court had distinguished the decision in Ajay Hasia's case (supra).
6. It seems to us that Sri Brahmarayappa is right in his submission. Ajay Hasia's case (supra) relates to the selection of students for certain academic courses in the Colleges. Observations in the case of Ajay Hasia (supra) were expressly considered and distinguished by the Supreme Court in Lila Dhar v. State of Rajasthan & Others, wherein it was observed at Para 10 at Page 301 of [1981-II L.L.J. 297].
'Both the cases cited before us, Periakaruppan's case : 2SCR430 and Ajay Hasia's case (supra) were cases of admission to colleges. We have already pointed out that the provision for marks for interviews test need not and cannot be the same for admission to colleges and entry into public services.' entry into public services.'
It was further observed at Para 10 of [1981-II L.L.J. 297] at 302.
'The observations of the Court were made, primarily, in connection with the problem of admission to colleges, where, naturally, academic performance must be given prime importance. The words 'or even in the matter of public employment' occurring in the first extracted passage and the reference to the marks allocated for the interview test in the Indian Administrative Service Examination were not intended to lay down any wide, general rule that the same principle that applied in the matter of admission to colleges also applied in the matter of recruitment to the public services. The observation relating to public employment was per incuriam since the matter did not fall for the consideration of the Court in the case, Nor do we think that the Court intended any wide construction of their observation. As already observed by us the weight to be given to the interview tests should depend on the requirement of the service to which recruitment is made, the source-material available for recruitment, the composition of the interview Board and several like factors. Ordinarily recruitment to public services is regulated by rules made under the proviso to Art. 309 of the Constitution and we would be usurping a function which is not ours, if we try to redetermine the appropriate method of selection and the relative weight to be attached to the various tests. If we do that we would be rewriting the Rules but we guard ourselves against being understood as saying that we would not interfere even in cases of proven or obvious oblique motive....'
It is clear from these observations that the statutory Rules framed under Art. 309 specifically govern the case, of selection of candidates to public service. In this connection it is also relevant to refer to certain observation made by the Supreme Court in Lila Dhar's case (supra) at Para 7 Page 300 of [1981-II L.L.J. 297].
'...... In the case of such services, where sound selection must combine academic ability with personality promise, some weight has to be give, though not much too great weight to the interview test. There cannot be any rule of thumb regarding the precise weight to be given. It must vary from service to service according to the requirements of the service, the minimum qualifications prescribed, the age group from which the selection is to be made, the body to which the task of holding the interview test is proposed to be entrusted and a host of other factors. It is a matter for determination by experts. It is a matter for research. It is not for Courts to pronounce upon it unless exaggerated weight has been given with proved or obvious oblique motives......'
7. In the instant cases the appellants have not even indicated any such proven or obvious oblique motive in given too much weight age to personality test, which has caused prejudice to them.
8. The second contention of Sri Savanur depends upon the scope of Rule 4(2) of the 1975 Rules which reads thus :
'4. Details of competitive Examination : (2) Personality Test : carrying maximum marks of 100 :- The candidates will be interviewed by the Commission who will have before them their particular such as qualification, experience, age. They will be asked questions of General interest. The object of the viva-voce is to assess the personal suitability of the candidates for the service for which they have applied. The qualities to be judge at the time of viva-voce are the mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, ability for social cohesion and leadership and the intellectual depth of the candidates.'
Under this Rule the candidates are required to be judged for their qualities like mental alertness, critical power of assimilation clear and logical exposition, ability for social cohesion and leadership and the intellectual depth of the candidates etc. The contention of Sri Savanur is that the interview committee must have allotted separate marks to each of the qualities specified and not a block marks on a total impression of the personality of each candidate.
9. It is too difficult to accept this contention too. Neither in the 1976 Rules nor anywhere else is there any prescription for allotting separate marks in respect of each of these qualities, nor is it possible to do so in view of the fact that most of the specified attributes overlap each other, In this connection it is relevant to refer to the observations of the Supreme Court in State of Karnataka v. M. Farida : 1SCR323 wherein the Supreme Court was considering Rule 9 read with Part IV of Schedule 2 of the 1966 Rules. It was held the in that in the personality test held by the interviewing body, the said Rules did not require the selection committee to award separate marks for several qualities mentioned in the said rule. Interviewing body was required to award a block mark on a total impression of the personality of each candidate after given due consideration to the several qualities specified therein. There it was observed at page 2486 thus :
'It seems to us in the context that the qualities mentioned only as guide, as indicating the attributes to be kept in view, in assessing the personality of the candidates. It seems hardly possible in the test contemplated to allocate separate marks for each of the various qualities specified; because most of them overlap one another and are also intermixed that they cannot be separated. Also the test carries the maximum mark of 100; it seems a little absurd to suppose that the seven qualities to be adjudicated at the interview are of equal value, each carrying 14-2/7 marks. This further confirms the view that part IV of Schedule II never intended that separate marks should be allotted for the several qualities stated therein.'
10. In this context Sri Savanur also referred to some of the questions said to have been put by the Selection Committee to the appellants. In regard to this matter there is not record maintained by the KPSC to verify what questions were put and what type of answers were given by the appellants. In the absence of any such verifiable record, it is neither possible nor safe to proceed on the basis of the allegations in this behalf.
11. Before parting with the case, we have to consider one more contention urged before us by Sri Savanur viz. that the selection was vitiated on account of the tampering of the record pertaining to personality test. There is no such allegation in the Writ Petition and as such it cannot be allowed to be raised at this stage. These allegations appear to have been based on the statements contained in the first affidavit filed by Sri B. V. Aswath, Deputy Secretary of the KPSC in which he has stated that in the viva-voce test each of the members of the selection committee awarded marks against each candidate and that the average marks of each candidate was added to the marks secured by each candidate in the written examination. He has also stated that after the list of successful candidates for each recruitment is published; the consolidated tabulated marks list signed by the Chairman and members are not preserved for long as it would be redundant. They are destroyed 'when no longer needed'. But subsequently another affidavit has been filed by Sri Murthy Rao, another Deputy Secretary of the KPSC in which he has explained in detail the method by which the marks were allotted by the members of the selection committee. He has stated :
'... the members of the two committees who interviewed the candidates and the appellants did not record marks individually, but the statement of marks secured by all the members of the concerned committee was prepared and signed by the members of that committee.' He has further stated that while filing the earlier affidavit the then Deputy Secretary did not verify the records as to whether each member had separately awarded marks at the time of interviewing the candidates. On verification of the records it was found that the statement in the first affidavit was not true.
12. In order to verify these allegations, we called for the records and perused the same. We find that the statement given by Deputy Secretary viz. Sri Sri Murthy Rao, is correct. Each member did not give separate marks but consolidated marks have been noted against each candidate at the time of the interview and each member of the committee and the Secretary of the Commission have signed the said report. Therefore, the allegations as to tampering of the records deserve to be rejected.
13. We have also looked into the individual marks obtained by the appellants in the written test as well as viva-voce. We find that except the appellant in W.P. No. 874 of 1980 the other appellants have secured very low marks in the written test. On the whole, we find no arbitrariness or illegality in the matter of selection of candidates for the post of Tahsildars.
In the result, the appeals fail and are accordingly dismissed.
However, in the circumstance of the case, there will be no order as to costs.
ORDER ON ORAL S.C.L.A.P. OF 1984
Jagannatha Shetty, J.
1. Counsel seek certificate for appeal to the Supreme Court.
2. We do not think that the matter involves any important question of law of general importance which needs to be decide by the Supreme Court.
14. Certificate prayed for is refused.