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A. Ratnam And Ors. vs Government Of Andhra Pradesh, ...

on 7 September, 2001

Andhra High Court


A. Ratnam And Ors. vs Government Of Andhra Pradesh, ... on 7 September, 2001
Equivalent citations: 2001 (6) ALT 661
Author: V Rao
Bench: S Sinha, V Rao
ORDER V.V.S. Rao, J.
INTRODUCTION:
1. All these writ petitions are filed questioning the judgment passed by the A.P. Administrative
Tribunal in various cases including O.A.Nos. 4496 of 2001 and batch dated 24-7-2001. This
judgment shall dispose of all the writ petitions.
2. As the facts are almost similar in all the cases, we may take the case as projected in W.P.No. 15469
of 2001 which is filed against O.A.No. 4546 of 2001, The said O.A. was filed under Section 19 of the
Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 by the petitioners herein praying for a declaration that the action
of the respondents in not conducting the entrance test for crash course in the year 1989 as per
notification dated 18-10-1989, and after conducting the same in the year 1995, not permitting the
applicants/petitioners to complete the crash course till April 2000 is illegal, unjust, arbitrary, being
violative of Articles 14, 16 and 21 of the Constitution of India and also praying for a consequential
direction to the respondents to consider their cases in District Selection Committee selections 2001
('DSC-2001' for brevity) by granting weightage marks and/or alternatively, to conduct a special DSC
so far as the applicants are concerned. The Tribunal by the impugned judgment disposed of the OAs
including O.A.No. 4546 of 2001 in the following terms.
Therefore, in view of the above referred discussion, the applicants who have already availed the one
time benefit that was granted by the Tribunal in O.A.No. 3863/2000 should not be allowed a further
benefit for DSC-2001, but we are of the considered view that the applicants who have not availed the
one time benefit so far in accordance with the judgment of the Tribunal in O.A. No. 3863/2000
dated 21-7-2000 be permitted to undergo the selection process by receiving their applications.
However, if they are within the age limit prescribed by the Government or ordered by the APAT for
DSC-2001, they are to be allowed as the crash course is conducted by the Government .............The
OAs are disposed of accordingly with the above directions at the admission stage. No costs.
A GLANCE AT PAST LITIGATION:
3. The history of the litigation leading to filing of the O.As. is a chequered one. We may notice the
same in brief. The persons who are qualified in Secondary Grade Basic Teachers Training (SGBT)
were eligible for being appointed as teachers in primary schools and upper primary schools. Prior to
1969, training was imparted in State-managed Basic Training Institutions. As there was a large
surplus of teachers who are qualified in the SGBT institutions, the Government decided to close
down the same. But in 1975, eleven Teacher Training Institutions (TTIs) were revived with the
intake capacity of 150 students. The Government also changed its policy and decided to grant
permission to private managements to establish TTIs. Though there was no permission to some
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A. Ratnam And Ors. vs Government Of Andhra Pradesh, ... on 7 September, 2001

institutions, in one or two cases, the Government permitted students to appear at the Government
examination on sympathetic grounds. Encouraged by this, large number of unauthorised
institutions came into existence. The Government then issued press notes warning the pubic that
the candidates seeking admission in unauthorised TTIs are doing so at their own risk. In spite of
this, the mushroom growth of TTIs did not abate. In the meanwhile, the Legislature enacted A.P.
Education Act, 1982 ('the Act' for short). At that stage, unauthorised TTIs filed writ petitions
questioning the policy in G.O.Ms.No. 169, Education, dated 19-2-1975 whereunder various
conditions were stipulated for granting recognition to TTIs. The writ petitions were disposed of
directing the Government to consider the applications of several TTIs. The Government considered
and declined to grant permission. Another set of writ petitions were filed before the Supreme Court
inter alia challenging the orders refusing permission to run the TTIs and also Sections 20 and 21 of
the Act. The writ petitions were dismissed by the Supreme Court in Nageshwaramma v. State of
A.P., .
4. In Nageshwaramma's case, it was also argued that the students of the TTIs were earlier permitted
to appear for Government examination and therefore all the students who have undergone training
for one year in private un-recognised TTIs may be allowed to appear for the examination
notwithstanding the fact that permission might not have been accorded to them. This was rejected
by the Supreme Court saying:
We are unable to accede to these requests. These institutions were established and the students were
admitted into these institutes despite a series of press notes issued by the Government. If by a fiat of
the Court we direct the Government to permit them to appear at the examination we will practically
be encouraging and condoning the establishment of unauthorised institutions. It is not appropriate
that the jurisdiction of the Court either under Article 32 of the Constitution or Article 226 should be
frittered away for such a purpose. The Teachers trained in Institutes are meant to teach children of
impressionable age and we cannot let loose on the innocent and unwary children, teachers who have
not received proper and adequate training. True they will be required to pass the examination but
that may not be enough. Training for a certain minimum period in a properly organised and
equipped Training Institute is probably essential before a teacher may be duly launched. We have no
hesitation in dismissing the writ petitions with costs.
5. Notwithstanding above judgment of the Supreme Court, having regard to the representations
made to them from all quarters, the Government, so as to mitigate the hardship and suffering of the
trainees from unauthorised TTIs, directed to hold special course in Government TTIs for those
students of 1983-84 and 1984-95 batches who had undergone training in private TTIs in all the
districts. However, such of the candidates had to appear in the entrance examination conducted by
the Government.
For the said purpose, the Government also ordered a screening procedure by District Level
Committees, Regional Level Committees and State Level Committee to finalise the list of the
candidates at three levels who are eligible for entrance test in Teacher Training Certificate course
(TTC). As per the procedure, a special entrance test will be conducted to the candidates who are
enlisted by the State Level Committee and the successful candidates in the entrance test are
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required to undergo a six months crash course in Government TTIs in accordance with the suitable
syllabus prepared by the Director of School Education. In pursuance of the Government policy as
communicated in G.O.Ms.No. 170, Education (SEE) Department, dated 9-5-1989, the Director of
School Education issued Proceedings being Rc.No. 2965/N1-3/88, dated 7-4-1993 laying down
conditions which are to be satisfied to be eligible to appear for the special entrance examination. As
per the condition No. (ii), the candidate seeking admission for the above entrance examination
should have completed 17 years of age but not over 25 years as on 1st July of the year of joining into
the TTC i.e., 1-7-1983 and 1-7-1984 for 1983-84 and 1984-85 batches respectively.
6. In furtherance of G.O.Ms.No. 170, dated 9-5-1989 as well as the Director's proceedings dated
7-4-1993, 7959 candidates were found eligible in the entrance test conducted by the Commissioner
for Government Examinations pursuant to a notification issued on 18-10-1989. As noticed above,
there were only eleven or so Government TTIs with an intake capacity of 150 students. Therefore, all
the 7959 candidates could not be sent to TTC crash course at a time. Hence, Government issued
orders in Memo No. 1702/Trg.II/02, dated 29-8-1996 to divide candidates into two (2) batches.
Accordingly, 3450 candidates were trained in the first batch of crash course in District Institutes of
Education and Training (DIETs) in all the 23 districts, which came to be established replacing TTIs.
The candidates of the first batch commenced crash course in June 1996 and completed it by
December 1996 for whom the final examination was conducted in January 1997. Immediately the
course for second batch of students i.e., 3450 candidates was started in February 1997 and was
completed by July 1997 in all the regions except Kakinada region. However, the examination for the
candidates of second batch was conducted in October 1997. Insofar as the Kakinada region is
concerned, the admissions were stopped in obedience to the directions of this Court dated 3-2-1997
in W.p.m.p.No. 1457 of 1997 in W.P.No. 1253 of 1997 and batch which was filed by some of the
private TTIs praying this Court to allow their students to appear for interviews scheduled to be held
in February 1997 so as to get admission into the crash course. At this stage, the events took a
different turn as we presently notice and results of the examination of the first batch of crash course
were not announced.
7. The vires of G.O.Ms.No. 170, dated 9-5-1989 came to be considered in M. Sanjeeva Reddy v. State
Convenor, CET, 1995, (D.B.). A Division Bench of this Court placing reliance on Nagheswaramma's
case (1 supra), declared the said G.O. ultra vires and that the Government has no such power to
issue such orders under the Act and the A.P. Educational Institutions (Admission of Students into
Teachers Training Institutions) Rules, 1986. The judgment was delivered on 14-11-1996 and for that
reason though the first batch and second batch crash course students completed the course in
December 1996 and July 1997, the results were not announced. The Government then issued
G.O.Ms.No. 258, Education, dated 8-8-1998 amending the Rules issued in G.O.Ms. No. 35,
Education, dated 26-2-1990. As per the amendment issued to the Rules, the policy decision vide
G.O.Ms.No. 170 was given statutory status retrospectively with effect from 9-5-1989, the date on
which the G.O. was issued. With this, the entrance test, preparation of list of eligible candidates and
crash course in two batches attained legitimacy. The Government also issued G.O.Ms.No. 344,
Education, dated 18-9-1998 directing that the results of the candidates who appeared in the
examination in January 1997 (first batch) and October 1997 (second batch) be announced.

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A. Ratnam And Ors. vs Government Of Andhra Pradesh, ... on 7 September, 2001

8. In yet another round of litigation, before amendment of Rules, W.P.No. 5730 of 1998 and batch
were filed before this Court questioning the inaction on the part of the Government in not
announcing the results of the examination of the candidates who underwent crash course. A
Division Bench of this Court having felt that Sanjeeva Reddy's case (2 supra) requires consideration
placed the matter before a Full Bench. It appears, the DSC 1998 was on the way. Therefore, by
interim order dated 26-3-1998, the Full Bench passed an order in W.P.M.P.No. 9772 of 1998
directing authorities to receive the applications of the petitioners therein except those who became
age barred by the date of examination conducted in October 1997 and the Full Bench also further
directed that the receipt of the applications shall be subject to the condition that the petitioners
should give the details of their Roll No. or Hall Ticket No. and also append a note to the application
form stating that they are submitting the application pursuant to the order of the Court passed on
26-3-1998.
9. The Full Bench on 1-5-1998 modified the order directing the respondents to allow such
candidates who passed the special TTC examination held in January and October 1997 for interview,
provided they have passed the examination held by District Selection Committees for recruitment of
teachers along with other eligible candidates subject to the condition that the results of selection
shall not be announced pending further orders by Court. In obedience to the interim orders, it
appears, most of the petitioners therein were called for interview. Some of the candidates who
became over aged by 31-10-1997 which is the cut-off date stipulated in the interim order dated
26-3-1998, were not called for interview. When the hearing before the Full Bench was in progress,
the Government issued G.O.Ms.No. 258, Education, dated 8-8-1998 amending the Rules and
therefore the Full Bench came to a conclusion that the writ petitions became infructuous. However,
an argument was raised on behalf of the petitioners herein that the maximum age limit prescribed in
employment notification be relaxed in view of the fact the crash course which ought to have been
started much earlier concluded only in 1996 and 1997. The Full Bench declined to give any such
relief and left it to the discretion of the appointing authorities to extend the benefit of relaxation to
those who are already called for selection and got selected in spite of the fact that they crossed the
age limit by 31-10-1997. After the Full Bench disposed of the cases, the Government issued Memo
No. 6238/Trg.III/97-3, dated 16-10-1998 to announce the results and to issue pass certificates to
successful candidates and thereafter results of the candidates were announced in October 1998.
10. As noticed above, in Kakinada Region the admissions into second batch of crash course were
stopped pursuant to the interim orders passed by this Court in W.p.m.p.No. 1457 of 1997 in W.P.No.
1253 of 1997 dated 3-2-1997. It was only after the Full Bench decided the matter that the
Commissioner issued orders on 23-12-1998 directing the concerned authorities to allow the
remaining candidates of second batch in Kakinada region to take admission into course during the
years 1998-99. Accordingly, 1280 candidates were admitted in the Kakinada region. The course was
commenced on 24-4-1999 and the same was completed on 24-10-1999. The results of the
examination conducted in the first week of April 2000 were also announced.
11. The Government and other authorities issued notification for DSC 2000 on 4-7-2000. As per
this, written examination was held on 17-8-2000. Some of the candidates who completed the crash
course in Kakinada region filed O.As before the Tribunal. These applications being O.A.NOS. 3863
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A. Ratnam And Ors. vs Government Of Andhra Pradesh, ... on 7 September, 2001

of 2000 and batch were filed seeking directions to the respondents to receive the applications of the
petitioners for appearing in written examination as a last chance on compassionate grounds; to give
weightage to the applicants in DSC 2000 for the post of Secondary Grade Teacher; and alternatively
to allow the applicants therein to compete to the post of Secondary Grade Teacher in DSC 2000 by
fixing the cut-off date as 31-10-1997 for the purpose of maximum age limit and also conduct a
separate/special DSC for the candidates in Kakinada region. The Tribunal by a common judgment
dated 21-7-2000 allowed the OAs directing the respondents to permit the applicants therein to
participate in the selection process for the post of Secondary Grade Teacher pursuant to the
notification dated 4-7-2000, "as one time chance."
DSC-2001:
12. The notification for recruitment of teachers 2001 (DSC 2001) was issued by the Director of
School Education on 14-6-2001 (published in the newspapers on 15-6-2001). As per the notification,
applicants for the post of Secondary Grade Teacher must possess the qualification of at least
Intermediate examination conducted by the A.P. Board of Intermediate Education and must possess
Teacher Training Certificate issued by the Commissioner for Government Examinations. The
applicants should have completed the age of 18 years and should have not completed the age of 36
years in the case of OCs, 40 years in the case of BCs, 41 years in the case of SC/STs and 45 years in
the case of physically handicapped as on 1-7-2001. All the petitioners herein have crossed the
maximum age limit. Therefore they again filed the OAs with the reliefs as noticed supra. All the OAs
were disposed of at the admission stage by a common order on 24-7-2001 directing that all the
petitioners who have not availed the one time benefit in accordance with the judgment of the
Tribunal in O.A.No. 3863 of 2000 and batch, dated 21-7-2000 be permitted to undergo the selection
process if they are within the age limit prescribed by the Government or ordered by the Tribunal for
DSC 2001. Aggrieved by this order the present writ petitions are filed.
RIVAL CONTENTIONS:
13. In these writ petitions, Sri S. Rama-chandra Rao, learned Senior Counsel made the lead
arguments which were supplemented by other learned Counsel. He submits that when the
Government took twelve years from 1989 to 2000 for completing the crash course for those
candidates who studied in un-recognised private TTIs, it is the duty of the Government to allow the
petitioners to participate in the selection process duly relaxing the age. He further submits that if the
Government conducted the entrance test as per the notification all the petitioners herein would have
become eligible for the DSCs conducted by the Government right from 1994 onwards, but the
entrance test was postponed at the behest of the Government more than thrice. Further, the
Government has taken a policy decision vide G.O.Ms.No. 170 dated 9-5-1989 and the same should
be implemented completely and that cannot be left half-through. It is his further submission that
while conducting the final examination of TTC the Government has amended the statutory rules
with retrospective effect from 9-5-1989 by issuing G.O.Ms.No. 258, dated 8-8-1998 and hence the
Government should not impose restrictions in the DSC selections. Nextly it is contended that
whether or not the petitioners appeared for selection in DSC 1998 and DSC 2000, they must be held
to be entitled to participate in the selection process applying the doctrine of legitimate expectation.
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He would submit that any denial of legitimate expectation would amount to abuse of power violating
Articles 14, 16 and 21 of the Constitution of India. He would also submit that the first batch as well
as the second batch crash course students were in dilemma as to whether results will be announced
or not which were ultimately announced in October 1998 and therefore even if they are age barred,
they should be given a fair opportunity to participate in the selection. The learned Senior Counsel
has placed reliance on following judgments in support of his contention viz., Vijoy Kumar v. State of
Bihar, 1984(1) SLR 394. R.K. Rama Rao v. State of A.P., . U.P. Awas Evam Vikas Parishad v. Gyan
Devi, . The learned Senior Counsel also contends that the judgment of the Full Bench of this Court in
W.P.No. 5730 of 1998 requires re-consideration as the same is per incuriam being contrary to the
principles laid down in Vijoy Kumar's case and Rama Rao's case.
14. The learned Additional Advocate General opposed the writ petitions. He would submit that the
impugned judgment of the Tribunal does not suffer from any error much less grave error apparent
on the face of the record requiring judicial review by this Court. He would also submit that the
Tribunal, in the earlier round of litigation in O.A.No. 3863 of 2000 and batch made it clear that as a
last chance all the applicants whose results of crash course examination were announced in October
1998 be allowed to participate in the selection in DSC 2000 and the same cannot be a permanent
feature to those candidates who have completed the crash course. He also submits that there is no
arbitrariness or illegality in fixing the maximum age limit. He had also drawn our attention to Rule
31 of the A.P. State and Subordinate Service Rules and submits that the ingredients for exercise of
power under Rule 31 are absent in the case. When all the petitioners, either they belong to first batch
or second batch or the batch of students belonging to Kakinada region, had an opportunity to appear
for 1998 as well as 2000 DSC by virtue of the orders of the Tribunal, they have no legal right to
enforce in these writ petitions. He would submit that the doctrine of legitimate expectation does not
arise in these cases. In support of his contention, he placed reliance on the judgments in
Negeshwaramma's case (1 supra), Union of India v. Hindustan Development Corpn., , State of W.B.
v. Niranian Singha, (2001) 2 SCC 326.
POINTS FOR CONSIDERATION:
15. In the factual background, having regard to the rival submissions, the following points arise for
consideration.
(1) Whether the notification for DSC 2001 dated 14-6-2001 insofar as the same prescribes the
maximum age limit as 36, 40, 41 and 45 for OC, BC, SC/ST and PH candidates respectively is not
arbitrary and unreasonable violating Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India?;
(2) Whether the judgment of the Full Bench of this Court in W.P. No. 5730 of 1998 and batch dated
25-9-1998 requires any reconsideration having regard to the judgments of the Supreme Court in
Vijoy Kumar's case and Rama Rao's case (3 and 4 supra) decided by the Supreme Court?;
(3) Whether the impugned judgment of the Tribunal in O.A.Nos. 4596 of 2001 and batch dated
24-7-2001 does not suffer from the vice of error apparent on its face requiring judicial review by this
Court?
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In Re Points 1 and 2:
16. We shall deal with points 1 and 2 together. The consideration requires examination of three
questions viz., (i) Whether in the facts and circumstances of the case, the rule of maximum age limit
to the petitioners is arbitrary and unreasonable? (ii) Whether the decision of the Full Bench in
W.P.No. 573 of 1998 and batch declining to grant any age relaxation is opposed to any law declared
by the Supreme Court? and (iii) Whether legitimate expectation if any enables the petitioners to
appear for DSC 2001 even though they admittedly crossed the maximum age limit prescribed by the
Rules. We would consider these questions in seriatim.
Question No. (i)
17. The submission made on behalf of the petitioners is that the policy decision in G.O.Ms.No. 170,
dated 9-5-1989 cannot be left half-through and all the candidates who have completed the crash
course programme either in the first batch or second batch or subsequently, are given at least one
chance to appear for selection process for appointment to the post of Secondary Grade Teacher and
the Government is bound to implement the policy by giving necessary relaxation to the petitioners.
As there was delay on the part of the Government in completing the crash course programme, the
petitioners cannot be blamed for the same. In our considered opinion, the argument is
misconceived.
18. After the judgment of the Supreme Court in Nagheswaramma's case (1 supra), a large number of
representations were made to Government. So as to mitigate the hardship caused to the students by
the private TTIs, the Government came forward with a policy to conduct crash course TTC in
Government institutions for those students who studied TTC course during 1983-84 and 1984-85 in
unrecognised private institutions despite warnings from the Government through the press. The
policy decision was to be implemented subject to selection of eligible candidates and also by
conducting entrance test. This was presumably because there were limited resources by way of
DIETs., and/or Government TTIs. All the students who were selected in the entrance test could not
be sent at a time for crash course. Therefore, there was some delay. In the meantime, when the first
batch of 3500 students and second batch of about 3500 students in different regions except in
Kakinda region completed the course, the Government could not announce the results in view of the
challenge to the G.O.Ms. No. 170, dated 9-5-1989 itself before this Court.
19. A Division Bench of this Court in Sanjeeva Reddy's case (2 supra) declared G.O.Ms. No. 170
dated 9-5-1989 ultra vires on 14-11-1996. So as to nullify the judgment of the Division Bench in
Sanjeeva Rededy's case (2 supra), the Government had taken recourse to amending the Admission
Rules. Accordingly, G.O.Ms.No. 258, dated 8-8-1998, which came into force with retrospective effect
from 9-5-1989, was issued amending the Rules.
20. After amendment of rules, the results were announced in October 1998. Therefore, about 7000
students who completed crash course of TTC examination became eligible only in October 1998. It is
not denied before us that some of them appeared for DSC 1998. Though there was a move to recruit
teachers even during 1999 (DSC-1998) the same had to be aborted due to various reasons. When the
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Government again started exercise for recruiting teachers during 2000 (DSC 2000) some of the
students/candidates from Kakinada region whose results could not be announced in October 1998
along with the first and second batch students, approached the Tribunal by filing O.A.No. 3863 of
2000 and batch. The Tribunal allowed the OAs only insofar as the students of Kakinada region are
concerned though they were age barred. The same was done by reason of "equity, good conscience
and natural justice." The reasons for the same were stated by the Tribunal in the judgment in
O.A.No. 3863 of 2000 and batch, dated 21-7-2000 as follows.
The fact remains that the applicants could not get their TTC certificates within the time as there was
litigation in respect of Kakinada region. For it, the applicants cannot be found fault. In fact, when
the second batch of the candidates were not sent for training, the High Court of A.P. directed the
Government to send the second batch of candidates also to DIETs., run by the Government to obtain
their Teacher Training Certificates...... we are fully satisfied that it is a fit matter where the
respondents have to be directed to permit the applicants to participate in the selection process for
the post of SGBT Teachers, as the applicants cannot be blamed for getting Teacher Training
Certificates. In the year 1999............ Earlier two batches of similarly situated candidates were sent
for D.I.E.Ts., for TTC training. As they were sent in earlier two batches, they became eligible and
were allowed to participate in the earlier DSCs and some of them were in fact selected. In their cases
also, the cut off date was relaxed.
21. Thus the students of first and second batches were never allowed to participate in the DSC as a
matter of right and it had been only out of compassion having regard to the principles of equity and
good conscience. A reading of G.O.Ms.No. 170, dated 9-5-1989, Memo dated 7-4-1993 issued by the
Director of School Education and G.O.Ms.No. 258, dated 8-8-1998 would show that these deal with
only holding of special course in Government TTIs for the students of 1983-84 and 1984-85 batches
who had undergone training in unrecognised private TTIs in all the districts of the State. The limited
purpose of this policy was only to conduct crash course and it no where contemplates that those
students who got the benefit of G.O.Ms.No. 170, dated 9-5-1989 and G.O.Ms.No. 258, dated
8-8-1998 will also be given any relaxation in the matter of appointment to teachers. We must
remind that under Article 41 of the Constitution, the State shall, within its limits of economic
capacity and development, make effective provisions inter alia for securing the right to work.
22. The right to work is not a fundamental right under the Constitution of India. Therefore, it is not
open for the petitioners to contend that having allowed them to get the teacher training certificates
in Government institutions in the special crash course programme, the Government should also
relax the qualifications in the matter of appointment of Secondary Grade Teachers in the State. If
the submission is accepted, ultimately it amounts to creating a right of employment which does not
inhere in the petitioners.
23. The post of Secondary Grade Teacher is Category 2, Class (E) post in A.P. School Educational
Subordinate Service Rules, 1992 (hereinafter called as the Special Rules) issued in exercise of the
powers conferred under proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution of India. As per Rule 5 of the
Special Rules read with the relevant entry in annexure, a person to be appointed as Secondary Grade
Teacher by direct recruitment must possess the qualifications of Intermediate examination and also
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the Teacher Training Certificate issued by the Commissioner for Government Examinations. In the
DSC 2001 notification dated 14-6-2001, the maximum age limit is 36 years for OC candidates. It is a
little more in the case of reserved category candidates and the physically handicapped candidates. It
is trite to say that the Constitution ensures equality of opportunity for all persons in the matter
relating to employment or appointment to any office in the State. What is really contended before
this Court is that the petitioners should be treated as a separate class for the purposes of Article 16
and should be given age relaxation whether or not they competed in 1998 and 2000 selections. Are
there any grounds to treat the petitioners as a separate class? Our answer to this question must be in
the negative. By virtue of G.O.Ms.No. 170 dated 9-5-1989 and G.O.Ms.No. 258, dated 8-8-1998, the
petitioners were grouped as a class till they completed TTC course in the Government TTIs, DIETs.
The moment they completed the course, in our considered opinion, they are equal with all other
aspiring candidates and there cannot be any discrimination. Indeed, the classification of the
petitioners as a separate class, in our considered opinion, would not satisfy 'the rationality test' and
'nexus test'. The object of conducting open selection for recruitment of Secondary Grade Teachers in
accordance with the Special Rules is to provide equal opportunities to all similarly situated persons
and to recruit the best available candidates as teachers. Classification of the petitioners who
completed the crash course TTC examination as separate group would not satisfy the object sought
to be achieved by the Special Rules as well as the Notification.
24. Primary judicial review of action alleging discrimination arises in case of 'under inclusion' as
well as in cases of 'over inclusion'. The "equality before law" is the normal and real constitutional
goal, but the principle of equality before law and the principle of equal protection of law do not
prohibit the State from resorting to classification. As noticed supra, subject to satisfying the
'rationality test' and 'nexus test', classification is a permissible device in governance for realizing
specified goals. If a group of people is classified as one category for the purpose of denying or for the
purpose of conferring a benefit the people who are left out can always complain that they have been
discriminated against. On the other hand, when denying the benefit or the privilege if some people
are included in the classified group those people may also complain that they have been
unnecessarily included. The approach of the Court in such a situation differs.
25. In Sakhawant Ali v. State of Orissa, , Section 16(1)(ix) of Orissa Municipalities Act disqualified a
legal practitioner from contesting election to a seat in municipality. This provision was upheld by
observing that Article 14 forbids class legislation but does not forbid reasonable classification for the
purposes of legislation. The apex Court ruled thus:
The simple answer to this contention is that legislation enacted for the achievement of a particular
object or purpose need not be all embracing. It is for the Legislature to determine what categories it
would embrace within the scope of legislation and merely because certain categories which would
stand on the same footing as those which are covered by the legislation are left out would not render
legislation which has been enacted in any manner discriminatory and violative of the fundamental
right guaranteed by Article 14 of the Constitution.
26. A Full Bench of Rajasthan High Court in Shanker Birmiwal v. Union of India, considered the
scope of judicial review in the matter of classification which is either 'under inclusive' or over
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inclusive'. Justice S.C. Agrawal (as he then was) observed as under:


A classification may suffer from the defect of being under inclusive or being over inclusive. A
classification is said to be under inclusive when the State benefits or burdens persons in a manner
that furthers a legitimate purpose but does not confer the same benefit on other who are similarly
situated. A classification is said to be over inclusive when it includes not only those who are similarly
situated with respect to the purpose but others who are not so situated as well. While examining the
validity of legislation on the touchstone of Article 14 the Courts have drawn a distinction between a
classification which is over inclusive and a classification which is under inclusive. In cases where the
classification is found to be over inclusive the Courts have interfered by striking down the offending
part so as to exclude persons or groups who ought not to have been included in it. But the Courts
have shown more tolerance towards laws which are challenged on the ground that the classification
is under inclusive for the reason that the Legislature is free to recognize the degrees of harm and it
may confine the benefits or burdens to those classes of cases where the need seems to be clearest.
A distinction has to be drawn between the role of Legislature which "has the affirmative
responsibility" and the role of the Courts which have only the power to destroy, not to reconstruct.
27. In the light of the legal position as noted above, the complaint of crash course candidates even if
it holds water can only be struck down and no mandamus can go to the Government to relax age
qualification, which is to be done by the Governor under Rule 31 of the General Rules. We hasten to
add that the so called 'over inclusion' is neither arbitrary nor it offends the doctrine of equality in
Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.
28. After Nageshwaramma's case (1 supra), the Government in fact went out of the way to mitigate
hardship to the petitioners and the Government cannot be faulted for any delay in completing the
crash course for more than 7500 candidates. In any event, in the case of candidates of Kakinada
region as well as others the Tribunal as well as this Court already allowed the candidates of the crash
course to participate in the selections in 1998 and 2000 and the same cannot be extended for all the
time. The observations made by the Supreme Court in Nageshwaramma's case (1 supra) supports
our view. Indeed, the Tribunal while allowing the O.A.No. 3863 of 2000 and batch categorically held
that the students of all batches were already allowed to participate in the earlier selections and this
finding has not been seriously challenged before us. Therefore, we must hold that there is no
arbitrariness and irrationality in fixing the maximum age to be applied uniformly to all and also
there is no arbitrariness on the part of the Government in not treating the petitioners as a separate
class.
29. It is well settled that "irrationality" is Wednesbury unreasonableness (see Om Kumar v. Union of
India. (2001) 2 SCC 386. Even the scrutiny of the case on the basis of the 'Wednesbury' principle
does not lend any support to the petitioners. The action of the Government in fixing the maximum
age limit at 36 years etc. is reasonable and the same cannot be held to be arbitrary.
Question No. (ii)

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30. The submission of the petitioners is that the judgment of the Full Bench dated 25-9-1998 in
W.P.No. 5730 of 1998 and batch is contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court in the cases of
Vijoy Kumar and R.K. Rama Rao (3 and 4 supra) and therefore the same may be ignored. We have
already noticed the circumstances under which the cases came to be referred to the Full Bench.
When the Full Bench was hearing the matters, the learned Additional Advocate General stated that
the rules were being amended to give a fair deal to the petitioners therein whose results could not be
declared. The matters were adjourned. Then the Government issued G.O.Ms.No. 258, dated
8-8-1998 amending the Admission Rules. This, as already observed, in effect amounted to nullifying
the judgment in Sanjeeva Reddy's case (2 supra) by removing the defect pointed out by the Division
Bench. Be that as it may, the Full Bench categorically stated that all the writ petitions became
infructuous in view of the amendments. Keeping in view the arguments on behalf of the petitioners
for relaxation of age, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the Full Bench thought it fit to
prescribe the cut off date as 31-10-1997 instead of 1-7-1997. The benefit of cut off date of 31-10-1997
for the purpose of reckoning the maximum age was given only in respect of those candidates who
passed the written examination, interview and got selected. The direction was not given to the
Government to give the benefit of cutoff date of every body. Further, the same was done by the
Bench on the concession made by the Additional Advocate General on behalf of the Government. We
fail to understand as to how the directions issued by the Full Bench in a group of writ petitions
which were categorically held to be infructuous and a direction on the concession made by the
Government can be contrary to any law. In any event, after going through two cited judgments of the
Supreme Court, we are not able to bring ourselves up to accept the submission made by the learned
Senior Counsel.
31. In Vijoy Kumar's case (3 supra), the case involved regularisation of Civil Assistant Surgeons in
Bihar Health Services who were appointed on ad hoc basis in the year 1976. Those Doctors were
allowed to continue on ad hoc basis for a period of seventeen years. The Government was therefore
directed to regularise the services of those doctors by following the procedure as was done in the
case of other such Doctors. This case is not an authority for the proposition that the Court can issue
a mandamus to treat a particular group of people as a separate class and give relaxation in the
matter of age.
32. In R.K. Rama Rao's case (4 supra) which arose as a sequel to Venkat Reddy v. State of A.P. AIR
1985 SC 729, the Supreme Court having regard to the undertaking given by the Government of
Andhra Pradesh in the latter case directed that those Village Officers who lost their positions by
virtue of the abolition of Village Officers' posts should not be subjected to any maximum age limit. It
was held:
At the time of hearing before the Supreme Court in Venkat Reddy's case (11 supra), no age
qualification had been prescribed. If the undertaking was required to be subject to the maximum age
limit prescribed for direct recruits under the ad hoc Rules, it would practically eliminate all the
erstwhile village officers. We do not think that the Government should be allowed to get round the
undertaking given at that time by purporting to prescribe the maximum age limit which would have
the effect of eliminating the majority of the erstwhile Village Officers. We have, therefore, no option
to allow the appeals and direct the respondents to absorb as Village Assistants all erstwhile Part
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Time Village Officers who have not attained the age of 58 years if they possess the minimum
educational qualifications and are otherwise suitable for appointment, irrespective of their age.
33. Therefore, the judgment of the Full Bench in W.P.No. 5730 of 1998 insofar as the same denies
the benefit of relaxation except to the extent indicated therein, cannot be said to be contrary to the
principles either in Vijoy Kumar's case or Rama Rao's case (3 and 4 supra).
Question No. (iii)
34. Legitimate expectation in public law was elucidated by the Supreme Court in Madras City Wine
Merchants' Association v. State of Tamil Nadu, . It was held that legitimate expectation may arise (a)
if there is an express promise given by a pubic authority: or (b) because of the existence of regular
practice which the claimant can reasonably expect to continue: (c) such an expectation must be
reasonable, and if there is a change in policy or in public interest the position is altered by a rule or
legislation no question of legitimate expectation would arise.
35. In Hindustan Development Corporation's case (6 supra), the following principles were affirmed.
For legal purposes, the expectation cannot be same as an anticipation. It is different from a wish, a
desire or a hope nor can it amount to a claim or demand on the ground of a right. However, earnest
or sincere a wish, a desire, a hope may be and, however, confidently one may look to them to be
fulfilled, they by themselves cannot amount to a assertable expectation and a mere disappointment
does not attract legal consequences.
36. In Kanaka Durga Wines v. Govt. of A.P. (F.B.), a Full Bench of this Court after referring to the
Halsbury's Laws of England and the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Madras City Wine
Merchants case (12 supra) summarised the ambit of legitimate expectation as under.
Thus, it can be seen that the doctrine of legitimate expectation can be invoked either where there is
an express promise given by a public authority, or where there is existence of regular practice which
a claimant can reasonably expect to continue. The claim for legitimate expectation can be denied by
showing (a) that the expectation itself is unreasonable; or
(b) that the conduct of the person seeking to enforce the claim is such that it disentitles him to the
equitable relief of the doctrine; or (c) that the expectations run counter to a public policy; or (d) that
the policy or the circumstances which gave rise to the expectation have changed; or (e) that the
claim is contrary to the provisions of the statute.
37. A Division Bench of this Court in Osmania University v. R. Madhavi, considered doctrine of
legitimate expectation as under.
A person who bases his claim on the doctrine of legitimate expectation, in the first instance, must
satisfy that there is a foundation and thus has locus standi to make such a claim. In considering the
same several factors which give rise to such legitimate expectation must be present. The decision
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taken by the authority must be found to be arbitrary, unreasonable and not taken in public interest.
If it is a question of policy, even by way of change of old policy, the Courts cannot interfere with a
decision. In a given case whether there are such facts and circumstances given rise to the legitimate
expectation, it would primarily be a question of fact. If these tests are satisfied and if the Court is
satisfied that a case of legitimate expectation is made out then the next question would be whether
failure to give an opportunity of hearing before the decision affecting such legitimate expectation is
taken, has resulted in failure of justice and whether on that ground the decision should be quashed.
38. The House of Lords considered the doctrine of legitimate expectation in Council of Civil Service
Unions v. Minister for the Civil Service, 1985 AC 374 and Pleasure v. Secretary of State, (1997) 3 All
E.R. 577 (HL). The Supreme Court of India in Navjyothi Co-op. Group Housing Society v. Union of
India, , Food Corporation of India v. Kamadhenu Cattle Feed Industries, , Hindustan Development
Corpn. case (6 supra) Madras City Wine Merchants case (12 supra) M.P. Oil Extraction v. State of
M.P., AIR 1998 SC 145 and National Buildings Constitution Corporation v. S. Raghunathan,
considered the concept of legitimate expectation. In a recent judgment in Punjab Communications
Ltd. v. Union of India, , Jagannadha Rao, J. (as he then was) considered all the above judgments
and held that legitimate expectation merely permits the Court to find out if the change of the policy
results in defeating the expectation and such change is irrational and unreasonable.
39. In two judgments delivered by one of us (V.V.S. Rao, J.) in M. Jagan Reddy v. Commr., Uppal
Kalan Municipality, 2000 (1) An.W.R. 298 = 2001 (1) ALD 518 and Laveti Suresh Babu v. Convenor,
MCACET-98, , reliance was placed on Punjab Communications case and the principles of legitimate
expectation were summarised as under.
(i) For a legitimate expectation to arise, the decisions of administrative authority must affect the
person by depriving him of some benefit of advantage, which he had in the past or been permitted
by the decision maker, which the person can legitimately expect to be permitted to continue and the
person received assurances from the decision maker that the benefit will not be withdrawn without
giving him an opportunity of advancing reasons;
(ii) The procedural aspect of legitimate expectation relates to representation for hearing or other
appropriate procedure;
(iii) Substantive part of the principle is that, representation made for a benefit of substantive nature,
will be granted or if the person is already in receipt of the benefit, it will be continued and not
varied;
(iv) The decision makers permitting to change the policy in pubic interest, cannot be fettered by the
application of principle of substantive legitimate expectation.
(v) If the authority proposes to defeat a person's legitimate expectation, the authority should afford
the person an opportunity to make a representation in the matter. From this point of view, the
doctrine imposed a duty to act fairly by taking into consideration all relevant factors relating to such
legitimate expectation;
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(vi) the protection of legitimate expectation do not require the fulfilment of legitimate expectation,
where an overriding public interest required otherwise;
(vii) If a person is denied the benefit by virtue of a legislative enactment or change in the statutory
rules, it is always taken that the result of a change in the policy by Legislation, does not give rise to
legitimate expectation;
(viii) The principle of legitimate expectation certainly gives the person sufficient locus standi to seek
judicial review; and
(ix) The substantive legitimate expectation merely permits the Courts to find out if the change of
policy resulting in defeating legitimate expectation was irrational or unreasonable.
40. In a recent decision in Niranjan Singha's case (7 supra), the Supreme Court held that the
doctrine of legitimate expectation is only an aspect of Article 14 of the Constitution in dealing with
the citizens in a non-arbitrary manner and thus, by itself, does not give rise to an enforceable right,
but in testing the action taken by the Government authority, the same would be relevant.
41. Therefore, when grievance is made that the change of policy is irrational and unreasonable and
amounts to abuse of power, legitimate expectation only gives locus standi to the aggrieved to
question the same on the ground that legitimate expectation is denied without prior notice.
Legitimate expectation does not by itself give rise to be enforced in the Court of law in the sense that
only a limited relief is available to such aggrieved party.
42. We shall now examine the contentions based on legitimate expectation.
(i) Whether there was any promise given by the respondents to the petitioners?
43. No material has been placed before us to show that the Government ever promised either at the
time of issuing G.O.Ms.No. 170, dated 9-5-1989 or at the time of amending the Rules vide
G.O.Ms.No. 258, dated 8-8-1998 that all the candidates of first and second batch of crash course
TTC examination would be given age relaxation as and when District Selection Committee selections
for appointment of teachers take place. Indeed, we have referred to the earlier orders of the Tribunal
as well as the stand of the Government to show that every time there was a DSC, the Government
has been opposing any relaxation. Even, the Full Bench of this Court in its judgment in W.P.No.
5730 of 1998 and batch declined to give any relaxation in the following terms.
It is also pointed out that for the purpose of eligibility for entrance test for crash course, the cut-off
date for the age limit was prescribed as 1-7-1983-84. We do not think that it would be proper to
direct the respondents to increase the upper age limit or to give a different cut-off date for the
purpose of making more candidates eligible. Apart from the fact that the petitioners have admittedly
no legal right, the comparison between the cut-off date for entrance test and the one fixed for
recruitment to the posts of Teachers is wholly inappropriate. Moreover, such a direction would also
give rise to unnecessary complications further delaying the process of recruitment. Any order passed
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at this stage to extend the maximum age limit will affect the prospects of appointment of candidates
who are within the age limit and got selected.
44. Further, the history of the litigation starting from Nageshwaramma's case (1 supra) would show
that the endeavour of the Government has been to see that those candidates who completed the TTC
course during 1983-84 and 1984-85 in unrecognised private educational institutions should get fair
deal insofar as they get a TTC examination certificate only. They were never promised that they
would for all time be allowed to participate in the selection process by duly relaxing the rules.
Therefore, on this score there was no legitimate expectation which was denied.
(ii) Was there a regular practice in existence by which the petitioners can reasonably expect the
same to continue?
45. On this test also the petitioners must fail. Either when the litigation was pending when
G.O.Ms.No. 170 dated 9-5-1989 was challenged in Sanjeeva Reddy's case (2 supra) or when the
litigation was pending in W.P.No. 5730 of 1998 and batch or before the Tribunal when O.A.No. 3863
of 2000 and batch was pending, there was staunch opposition by the Government. This Court or the
Tribunal only directed relaxation in the matter of appointment after selection and never there was a
general practice of giving age relaxation to candidates such as the petitioners. Even before the
Tribunal in the cases out of which the present writ petitions arise, the Government opposed any
relaxation to the crash course candidates. Hence, it cannot be said that there was any existence of a
regular practice which the petitioners could have reasonably expected to continue. Indeed, they have
been aware when the notification was issued for DSC 1998, 2000 and 2001 that the petitioners
herein were never treated as a special or separate class for the purpose of giving age relaxation. The
petitioners have not even placed before us any orders passed by the Government under Rule 31 of
the General Rules which permits the authorities to relax the Rules. The petitioner did not even made
any representation under said Rule.
(iii) Whether expectation of the petitioners is reasonable?
46. It is well settled that if there is a change in policy or in public interest and the position is altered
by a rule or legislation no question of legitimate expectation would arise. Indeed, this principle has
no application in the context of consideration of legitimate expectation. Since 1992 the statutory
rules made under the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution have been very clear and the person
to be eligible to be appointed as Secondary Grade Teacher must fulfil all the rules and regulations.
Never before there was any special rule enabling the petitioners to claim relaxation of age and
therefore there is no existence of change of policy in this case. Throughout the district selections
during various years, the Government has been adhering to the rules and no case is brought before
us where relaxation is given to any determined class of persons. For these reasons, we reject the
submission of the petitioners' Counsel that the petitioners have been denied legitimate expectation
by abuse of power.
In Re Point No. 3:

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47. In pursuance of the power conferred by Clause (1) of Article 323-A of the Constitution of India,
the Parliament enacted the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 ('the Tribunals Act' for brevity). The
Tribunals Act, by Section 28 sought to exclude the jurisdiction of all Courts except jurisdiction of
Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution. The jurisdiction in relation to all 'conditions of
service' in the public employment was to be exercised by the Administrative Tribunal constituted
under Chapter II of the said Act. A seven-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in L. Chandra Kumar v.
Union of India, laid down that the jurisdiction of this Court under Articles. 226/ 227 as well as that
of the Supreme Court under Article 32 cannot be ousted. On that premise, it was held that all
decisions of the Tribunals will be subject to judicial review before the High Court under Article
226/227 of the Constitution before a Division Bench of the Court within whose territorial
jurisdiction the Tribunal concerned falls. Of late, after the judgment of the Supreme Court in
Chandra Kumar's case (24 supra), this Court is flooded with almost all decisions of the Tribunals
that are challenged on untenable and whimsical grounds and this Court is forced to perform the role
of the first appellate Court. What is the scope of judicial review of decisions of the Administrative
Tribunals? It is a pertinent question which we desire to deal in these writ petitions.
48. After the judgment in Chandra Kumar's case (24 supra), the scope and extent of the power of the
Tribunals constituted under the Tribunals Act has become clear. The Tribunal is vested with power
to adjudicate upon matters where the vires of legislation and rules is questioned as well as to decide
the disputes involving interpretation of Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India. All
disputes in relation to conditions of service are within the ambit of the jurisdiction of the Tribunals.
The only areas where the Tribunal is held to be not competent to decide the question are regarding
the vires of their parent statute in which cases alone High Court may be approached directly.
Therefore, it is clear that like all the statutory Tribunals, the service Tribunals exercise their wide
powers in deciding service law disputes by exercising judicial power. As held by the Supreme Court
in Sampath Kumar v. Union of India, AIR 1987 SC 386, Sambha Murthy v. Union of India, , and
Chandrakumar's case (24 supra) due to adoption of theory of alternative institutional mechanism
the Tribunals are vested with the power of judicial review in service matters. Hence, there cannot be
any doubt that High Court under Articles 226/227 exercises power of judicial review of decision in
judicial review by the Tribunal. These facts must be kept in mind while we decide the scope of
judicial review of decisions rendered by service Tribunals.
49. The difference between "appeal" and "review" is well established. An appeal is continuation of
the original proceedings and is concerned with the merits of the case and requires examination of
the correctness of the findings of both fact and law. Judicial review, on the other hand is concerned
with the validity of the order than the merits of the case. In Chief Constable of the North Wales
Police v. Evans, 1982 (1)WLR 1155 it was held that "judicial review is not an appeal from a decision
but a review of the manner in which the decision was made and that the judicial review is concerned
not with the decision but with the correctness of the decision making process. In R. Entry v. Entry
Clearance Officer, Bombay ex.p.Amin, 1983 (2) AC 818, the House of Lords observed that judicial
review is entirely different from an ordinary appeal and that it is concerned not with the merits of a
decision but with the manner in which the decision was made. These principles have been quoted
with approval in Tata Cellular v. Union of India, .

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50. Further, on the premise that any error of law materially affects the decision making process, it
has been held that only error of law apparent on the face of the record is amenable to judicial review
under Article 226/ 227 of the Constitution. When a decision of the Tribunal is challenged before this
Court, this Court can issue any writ, declaration or direction. A writ of certiorari may be issued if the
Tribunal failed to exercise jurisdiction properly or exceeds jurisdiction vested in it. A writ of
mandamus may also be sought against the decision of the Tribunal if the Tribunal after adjudication
declines to exercise proper discretion in discharging its functions. Equally a declaration can be
sought when the Tribunal though exercised jurisdiction within its limits in accordance with the
settled principles of law, but arrives at a finding which might be perverse on the face of it. (See
Judicial Review: Law & Procedure by Richard Gordon; Sweet & Maxwell 1996).
51. It is also equally settled that a Court of judicial review would not ordinarily interfere with the
finding of facts however grave they may be. This Court is only concerned with grave error of law
which is apparent on the face of record. The error of law for instance may arise when a Tribunal
wrongfully rejects admissible evidence or considers inadmissible evidence and records a finding.
However, as observed by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Syed Yakoob v.
Radhakrishnan, , "it is neither possible nor desirable to attempt either to define or to describe
adequately all cases of errors which can be appropriately described as errors of law apparent on the
face of the record and the same must depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and upon
the nature and scope of the legal provisions which is alleged to have been misconstrued or
contravened." The principles of judicial review of decisions of the Tribunals noticed hereinabove
were accepted by the Supreme Court in Syed Yakoob's case (30 supra). It is apposite to excerpt the
following passage which is educative:
The question about the limits of the jurisdiction of High Courts in issuing a writ of certiorari under
Article 226 has been frequently considered by this Court and the true legal position in that behalf is
no longer in doubt. A writ of certiorari can be issued for correcting errors of jurisdiction committed
by inferior Courts or Tribunals; these are cases where orders are passed by inferior Courts or
Tribunals without jurisdiction, or is in excess of it, or as a result of failure to exercise jurisdiction. A
writ can similarly be issued where in exercise of jurisdiction conferred on it, the Court or Tribunal
acts illegally or improperly, as for instance, it decides a question without giving an opportunity to be
heard to the party affected by the order, or where the procedure adopted in dealing with the dispute
is opposed to principles of natural justice. There is, however, no doubt that the jurisdiction to issue a
writ of certiorari is a supervisory jurisdiction and the Court exercising it is not entitled to act as an
appellate Court. This limitation necessarily means that findings of fact reached by the inferior Court
or Tribunal as a result of the appreciation of evidence cannot be reopened or questioned in writ
proceedings. An error of law which is apparent on the face of the record can be corrected by a writ,
but not an error of fact, however grave it may appear to be. In regard to a finding of fact recorded by
the Tribunal, a writ of certiorari can be issued if it is shown that in recording the said finding, the
Tribunal had erroneously refused to admit admissible and material evidence, or had erroneously
admitted inadmissible evidence which has influenced the impugned finding.
52. The decision in Syed Yakoob's case (30 supra) was also followed in Jagdish Prasad v. Angoori
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(i) The High Court is not an appellate authority over the decision of the Administrative Tribunals;
(ii) While exercising the power of judicial review, the High Court cannot be oblivious to the
conceptual difference between appeal and review;
(hi) The petition for a judicial review would lie only on grounds of grave errors of law apparent on
the face of the record and not on the ground of error of fact, however grave it may appear;
(iv) When the Tribunal renders a decision after determining the facts, no application for judicial
review could be maintainable only on the ground that the Tribunal committed an error of fact,
however grave it may appear, unless it is shown that such a finding of the Tribunal is based on no
evidence and the error of fact itself can be regarded as error of law in the sense that admissible
evidence was rejected and inadmissible evidence was relied on;
(v) The orders passed by the Tribunal by exercising discretion which judicially vests in it cannot be
interfered in judicial review unless it is shown that exercise of discretion itself is perverse or illegal
in the sense the Tribunal did not follow an earlier decision of the Tribunal or binding authority of
the High Court or the Supreme Court with reference to finding of facts and law;
(vi) When the Tribunal disposes of the original application by applying the binding precedents of the
High Court as well as the Supreme Court, it cannot be said that the Tribunal has committed any
error of law apparent on the face of the record; in such cases the limited review before the High
Court would be whether the binding principle has been appropriately applied or not; the Tribunal's
decision which is rendered in ignorance of the statutory law including subordinate legislation as well
as the law laid down by the Supreme Court must be held to suffer an error apparent on the face of
the record and requires judicial review;
(vii) Whether or not an error is error of law apparent on the face of the record must always depend
upon the facts and circumstances of each case and upon the nature and scope of legal provision
which is alleged to have been misconstrued or contravened;
(viii) The three parameters of judicial review of administrative action -illegality, irrationality and
procedural impropriety with necessary changes are equally applicable to cases of judicial review of
the Tribunal's decision; and
(ix) A mere wrong decision without anything more is not enough to attract jurisdiction of High
Court under Article 227; the supervisory jurisdiction conferred on High Court is limited to seeing
that Tribunal functions within the limits of its authority and that its decisions do not occasion
miscarriage of justice.
53. Applying the above principles, we have examined the impugned judgment of the Tribunal in
these cases. We are not able to persuade ourselves that the impugned judgment suffers from any
error apparent on the face of the record. Indeed, the submissions made before us are not even raised
and/or even if they were raised, not even pressed before the Tribunal. Having regard to the
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importance of the matter, we have heard elaborate arguments in this Court. We must hold that the
Tribunal, as noticed above, has correctly applied principles of equity in rejecting the prayer of the
petitioners for relaxation. Even applying Wednesbury unreasonableness, it cannot be said that the
Tribunal has committed grave error which requires judicial review by this Court.
54. In the light of our findings on the issues which fell for consideration, we must hold that the writ
petitions are devoid of any merit. Accordingly, all the writ petitions are dismissed without any order
as to costs.

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