Aneesh Kumar V. S. vs The State Of Kerala on 24 April, 2020


Supreme Court of India

Aneesh Kumar V. S. vs The State Of Kerala on 24 April, 2020

Author: A.M. Khanwilkar

Bench: A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari

                                                    1


                                                                       REPORTABLE

                                 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                                   CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                  CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2368 OF 2020
                                (arising out of SLP(C) No. 7189/2019)

          Aneesh Kumar V.S. & Ors.                                       ...Appellant(s)

                                                 Versus

          State of Kerala & Ors.                                         ...Respondent(s)

                                                     With

                                  CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2369 OF 2020
                                (arising out of SLP(C) No. 7567/2019)

                                   CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2370 OF 2020
                                (arising out of SLP(C) No. 17448/2019)

                                   CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2371 OF 2020
                                (arising out of SLP(C) No. 18384/2019)


                                            JUDGMENT

A.M. Khanwilkar, J.

1. Leave granted.

2.
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
This batch of appeals, by special leave, are against the final
DEEPAK SINGH
Date: 2020.04.24
15:21:49 IST

judgment and order dated 21.2.2019 passed by the Full Bench of
Reason:

2

the High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam (for short, “the High

Court”) in O.P. (KAT) Nos. 256/2017, 330/2017 and 408/2017

pursuant to a Reference Order by the Division Bench, bearing the

same case numbers, passed on 16.11.2018.

3. In a nutshell, the appellants have preferred these appeals to

be advised (or appointed) against 93 Non­Joining Duty (for short,

“NJD”) vacancies reported to the Kerala Public Service

Commission (for short, “the KPSC”) on 12.7.2016 relating to the

post of Sub Inspector of Police (Trainee). Respondents declined

that demand on the ground that the Ranked List dated 11.9.2013

[for short “first Ranked List (RL­I)”] (wherein the appellant(s) have

been empanelled), had expired before the stated vacancies came

to be reported. This Court vide order dated 24.9.2019, called

upon the respondents to explore the possibility of issuing advice

for 31 left out candidates (appellants and similarly placed

persons) against the 34 NJD vacancies still available. However,

vide notification dated 18.11.2019, the State of Kerala

(respondent No. 1) declined to do so due to administrative and

legal reasons, cementing their stand that the first Ranked List

(RL­I) had already expired before the vacancies were reported.

Factual Background
3

4. Pursuant to a gazette notification issued on 28.9.2007,

applications were invited for appointment to the abovementioned

posts, allocated into three different categories (namely, Category

315/2007 for open quota, Category 316/2007 for ministerial

quota and Category 317/2007 for constabulary quota). The

KPSC having received large number (around 42,000) of

applications than anticipated, decided to conduct a preliminary

objective test. That test was carried out to prune the list of

eligible candidates, for which 49 marks were specified as cut­off

marks. On the basis of that test, a list was prepared. However,

the KPSC then realised that the said list did not have enough

candidates from reserved categories and thus, it decided to

reduce the cut­off marks for reserved categories upto 32 marks;

and to draw up a fresh list to include all qualified candidates.

After completing the selection process as mentioned in the

notification, on 11.09.2013 the KPSC published the first Ranked

List (RL­I). On 4.11.2013, the KPSC issued advice on the basis of

the first Ranked List (RL­I) against 9 fresh vacancies (for short,

“first advice”) which included the vacancies occurred from the

date of the notification till 17.10.2013.
4

5. The aggrieved candidates approached the Kerala

Administrative Tribunal (for short, “the Tribunal”), by way of O.A.

2395 of 2013 and other such applications against the decision of

the KPSC to have a unified/consolidated ranked list and for not

having two lists; a main and a supplementary list (which would

include candidates from reserved category). They prayed for

interim relief(s), which read thus: ­
“This Hon’ble Tribunal may be pleased to direct the 3 rd
respondent not to advice any candidates who secured less
than 49 marks in the preliminary examination, from
Annexure A6 rank list against the vacancies available for
open competition candidates, pending disposal of the
Original Application.”

While admitting the O.A. on 5.12.2013 [after 85 days from the

publication of the first Ranked List (RL­I)], the Tribunal granted

interim relief as prayed and observed thus: ­
“… … … if any candidate who secured less than 49 marks
in the preliminary examination has been advised against
open competition turn, his advice and appointment shall
be subject to further orders in this Original Application
and such candidates shall be alerted about this order by
the third respondent … … …”

The KPSC, during the pendency of proceedings issued another

advice in respect of empanelled candidates in the first Ranked

List (RL­I) who had secured more than 49 marks against a total of

12 vacancies on the basis of the first Ranked List (RL­I) on

20.1.2014 (for short, “second advice”).

5

6. On 20.2.2014, the Tribunal allowed the O.A. by directing

the KPSC to re­cast the first Ranked List (RL­I) by bifurcating it

into main list and the supplementary list. It held thus: ­
“28. In the result, the applicants are entitled to
succeed. Accordingly, the PSC is ordered to recast
Annexure A6 rank list with main list and
supplementary lists. The candidates who secured 49
and above marks in the objective type examination
alone shall be included in the main list of Annexure
A6. Those candidates who participated in the further
selection process after the objective type examination, but
without obtaining 49 marks in that examination shall be
included in the supplementary lists for the respective
communities. Even if any candidates included in the
supplementary lists obtained more marks than the
candidates included in the main list, they are not eligible
for inclusion in the main list. The advice and
appointment, if any, from Annexure A6 of candidates who
secured less than 49 marks in the objective type
examination being dependent proceedings will naturally
collapse and fall to ground. The advice of such candidates
shall be reviewed and recalled by the PSC and
appointments, if any, made of them or the orders sending
them for training are null and void and they have no legal
efficacy. It is so declared. The State Police Chief shall
recall them. The PSC shall publish a revised rank list in
the place of Annexure A6 within one month from the date
of receipt of a copy of this order. The advices made of
ineligible persons, in the light of the revised rank list,
shall be reviewed and cancelled within one month
thereafter. The advice and appointment of candidates
and their sending for training, etc. who are otherwise
eligible will not be affected by this order. That means,
they can go for training. Only the candidates who got
less than 49 marks in the objective type examination
and are sent for training before their turn arose, as
per the revised rank list shall be recalled.

(emphasis supplied)

The order of the Tribunal was assailed before the High Court by

way of writ petitions (O.P. (KAT) Nos. 108/2014, 110/2014,
6

112/2014 and 114/2014). While admitting the said petitions on

12.3.2014, the High Court issued an order whereby it restrained

the KPSC to advise any further candidate who had secured less

than 49 marks in the objective test. Vide judgment dated

8.8.2014, the High Court eventually dismissed the petitions and

upheld the Order passed by the Tribunal. Two appeals to this

Court by special leave were then preferred by the aggrieved

candidates against the decision of the High Court, bearing S.L.P.

(C) Nos. 28428/2014 and 28743/2014, wherein on 3.11.2014

[418 days after the publishing of the first Ranked List (RL­I)], this

Court issued notice and ordered thus: ­
“Issue notice. Dasti, in addition, is permitted.
Status quo, as on today, shall be maintained in the
meantime”

On 13.10.2015, the civil appeals were finally allowed and the

judgments of the Tribunal and the High Court were set aside; and

the consolidated first Ranked List (RL­I) dated 11.9.2013 came to

be upheld. Pursuant to the disposal of the civil appeals by this

Court, the KPSC on 11.11.2015 made a third and final advice (for

short, “third advice”) from the first Ranked List (RL­I), which

included vacancies occurred from 31.01.2014 till 31.01.2015.

Advice made from the first Ranked List (RL­I)
7

Date of Date of Date of No. & Date of No. of Rem­
Receipt Requisition Occurrence Nature of Advice unfilled arks
Vacancy vacancies

29.06.2007 29.04.2009 9 Fresh 04.11.2013 NIL
08.02.2012 10.02.2012 132 Fresh
12.09.2012 13.09.2012 25 Fresh
08.03.2013 12.03.2013 27 Fresh
29.07.2013 29.07.2013 63 Fresh
15.10.2013 17.10.2013 24 Fresh
02.12.2013 06.12.2013 12 Fresh 20.01.2014
22.02.2014 17.02.2014 31.01.2014 36 Fresh
03.03.2014 22.02.2014 NA 5 NJD
12.05.2014 29.04.2014 15.04.2014 3 Fresh
25.07.2014 10.07.2014 30.06.2014 9 Fresh
23.07.2014 23.07.2014 NA 9 NJD
02.08.2014 01.08.2014 31.07.2014 12 Fresh 11.11.20151
21.10.2014 21.10.2014 15.10.2014 3 Fresh +

2 NJD
05.11.2014 05.11.2014 137 Fresh
23.02.2015 20.02.2015 31.01.2015 5 Fresh
22.08.2015 22.08.2015 31.01.2015 118 Fresh
Total advise: 631. Rank list
expired on 25.05.2015

7. However, during pendency of Civil Appeals (C.A. Nos.

8356/2015 and 8537/2015 @ SLP(C) Nos. 28428/2014 and

28743/2014), the KPSC had released a new list on 26.5.2015 [for

short, “second Ranked List (RL­II)”] and thereby the first Ranked

List (RL­I) was treated as ceased to exist on 25.5.2015.

Advice made from the second Ranked List (RL­II)

Date of Date of No. & Nature Date of No. of Remarks
Receipt Requisition of Vacancy Advice Unfilled
Vacancies

19.10.2015 07.10.2015 1 NJD 23.07.2018
12.07.2016 12.07.2016 93 NJD 26.02.2019 Advised as per
Court Order
11.05.2018 11.05.2018 162 Fresh

1 On 19.04.2016, vide letter by The Inspector General of Police (Training), the candidates
advised on 11.11.2015, were provisionally appointed. Their training was to start on
01.05.2016 and failure to report would entail as reporting of the vacancy to PSC.

                                                  8


23.05.2018      23.05.2018      12 Fresh + 5       23.07.2018                          * Only 5
                                    AV                                                 advised.
                                                                                           12
                                                                                       advised
                                                                                         later.




25.05.2018      25.05.2018          2 NJD
23.05.2018      23.05.2018          17 (12         25.07.2018
                                  vacancies
                                   advised)
11.07.2018      11.07.2018         9 Fresh         23.07.2018
                                                        Total advise: 284.
                                                Ranked List expired on 25.07.2018


8. Be that as it may, on 14.3.2019 the KPSC notified a

subsequent list [for short, “third Ranked List (RL­III)”] for the said

post.

Advice made from the third Ranked List (RL­III)

Date of Date of Date of No. & Date of No. of Remarks
Receipt Requisition Occurrence Nature of Advice unfilled
Vacancy vacancies
16.10.2018 15.10.2018 28 NJD 08.04.2019
30.10.2018 30.10.2018 11 NJD
31.10.2018 30.10.2018 30.10.218 8 NJD + 1
Fresh
10.04.2019 09.04.2019 19.12.2018, 10 Fresh + 09.05.2019
12.03.2019, 15 NJD
03.03.2019

25.05.2019 24.05.2019 10.04.2019, 19 NJD + 2 07.06.2019
31.10.2018 Fresh

10.04.2019 03.03.2019 20 Fresh 09.05.2019 Only
reported on
31.10.2018
17.07.2019 08.07.2019 14 NJD Rotation
approved
on
06.08.2019.

But not
released.

20.08.2019   15.08.2019                     20 NJD                                     To be
16.10.2019   16.10.2016    30.08.2019,    19 NJD + 2                                  advised
                           10.10.2019        Fresh
                            (2 Fresh)
                                 9


9. It may be apposite to also refer to other parallel litigation(s)

concerning the first Ranked List (RL­I), which may have bearing

on the outcome of these Civil Appeals; First, candidates from the

first Ranked List (RL­I) had approached the Tribunal vide O.A.

No. 440/2014 against the KPSC, seeking reporting of vacancies.

The same came to be dismissed by the Tribunal vide order dated

21.3.2014. However, the High Court (in O.P. (KAT) 200 of 2014)

vide order dated 26.8.2014, directed Respondent No. 2 herein

(the State Police Chief, Headquarters) to report 50% of 274 (i.e.,

137) vacancies, to be filled by direct recruitment, so that the

KPSC can advise the candidates in an expeditious manner.

Failure on the part of the authority to report about the stated

vacancies, gave rise to Contempt Case (C) 562 of 2015. However,

after the status quo order passed by this Court (dated 3.11.2014)

was brought to the notice of the High Court, the contempt case

came to be dismissed; and the special leave petitions (S.L.P. (C)

Nos. 2023­24 of 2016) preferred against that order were also

dismissed by this Court; Second, some candidates empanelled in

the first Ranked List (RL­I) had approached the Tribunal (in O.A.

2383 of 2014) for reporting of existing vacancies, as the first

Ranked List (RL­I) was to expire soon. Vide order dated
10

13.7.2015, the Tribunal directed that a total of 118 vacancies be

reported to the KPSC and the KPSC to issue advice qua the

reported vacancies forthwith.

10. Due to publication of the second Ranked List (RL­II),

applications (O.As.) were preferred before the Tribunal by

aggrieved candidates including the appellants, seeking direction

for reporting of vacancies and issuance of advice on the basis of

the first Ranked List (RL­I) (till that list ceases to exist) and to

declare that the first Ranked List (RL­I) was valid and had not

expired and would remain in force till the expiry of one month

from the date on which the last batch of candidates is advised

from that list (in accordance with the first proviso to Rule 13 of

the Kerala Public Service Commission Rules of Procedure, 1976 –

for short, “the 1976 Rules”). The Tribunal while admitting the

O.As. (O.A. No. 306 of 2016 and connected O.As.), vide order

dated 5.4.2016, directed provisional reporting of 285 vacancies

before 11.4.2016 and that no advice be made against those

provisional reported vacancies. On 14.7.2017, after analysing the

1976 Rules, the Tribunal dismissed the applications by observing

thus: ­
“Accordingly, we hold as follows: ­
11

(a) The ranked list dated 11.9.2013 has expired on
26.5.2015 due to cancellation by the Public Service
Commission.

(b) The sanctioned strength being 2024, for direct
recruitment 50% of the same (1012) will have to be
reckoned.

(c) There are no other excess vacancies to be reported for
filling up the 50% quota except 93 NJD vacancies
reported on 12.7.2016.

(d) The NJD vacancies will have to be filled up by advising
candidates from the ranked list dated 26.5.2015 for
which the Public Service Commission is directed to take
steps.

……………..”

11. The appellants, therefore, preferred writ petitions before the

High Court seeking direction to report 362 vacancies, to advice

93 NJD vacancies on the basis of the first Ranked List (RL­I) and

to declare the decision of the KPSC of cancelling the first Ranked

List (RL­I) as illegal, amongst other reliefs. On 16.11.2018, the

Division Bench of the High Court passed a “Reference Order”,

thereby referred the matter to Full Bench, having noticed the

decision of a Co­ordinate Bench, which in its opinion was

debatable. However, the Division Bench also made certain

observations. It observed that the first Ranked List (RL­I) was in

operation only for 85 days (till 5.12.2013 ­ due to an interim

order passed by the Tribunal) and that there remained a total

period of 280 days for completion of the duration of the first
12

Ranked List (RL­I) after 13.10.2015 in accordance with the

respective Rules. Thus, it held that the first Ranked List (RL­I)

expired only on 19.7.2016. The Division Bench then proceeded

to observe that there cannot be an automatic cancellation of the

first Ranked List (RL­I), thereby it must remain in force for a

minimum period of one year (till 19.7.2016). It concluded by

observing that the 93 NJD vacancies reported on 12.7.2016,

should be filled up by the candidates empanelled in the first

Ranked List (RL­I). The Division Bench, however, noticed the

dictum in Kerala Public Service Commission vs. Dr.

Kesavankutty Nair & Ors.2 wherein the maxim actus curiae

neminem gravabit was not held to be applicable to decide the life

of a Ranked List. The Division Bench observed thus: ­
“10. But we are confronted with the decision in
Kerala Public Service Commission v. Dr. Kesavankutty
Nair [1977] KLT 818 (DB)] cited by the contesting
respondents which may have a bearing on this batch of
cases. It has been held therein that the maxim – actus
curiae neminem gravabit – cannot be made applicable to
decide the life of a ranked list published by the PSC. The
reason stated is that inclusion of the name of a candidate
in a ranked list does not confer him any right to claim
appointment relying on Rule 3(b) of the Kerala State &
Subordinate Services Rules. Firstly, we fail to understand
the relevancy of Rule 3(b) of the KS & SSR in the
applicability of the maxim afore­quoted which can be
called in aid by any one prejudiced by an act of Court.
Secondly, the decision in Dr. Kesavankutty Nair’s case
(supra) concerned a ranked list published on 27.2.1973
much before the Rules came into force on 16.8.1976. The
2 ILR 1977 (2) Kerala 687
13

Division Bench obviously did not have the
opportunity to consider the purport and import of the
words ‘shall remain in force for a period of one year’
in Rule 13 of the Rules. We doubt the correctness of
the decision in Dr. Kesavankutty Nair’s case (supra)
and judicial propriety compels us to refer this batch
of cases to a Full Bench therefore.”

(emphasis supplied)

12. The Full Bench vide impugned judgment dated 21.2.2019 3,

analysed Rules 13 and 14 of the 1976 Rules and held that Rule

14 mandates the KPSC to advise candidates from a Ranked List

in force in respect of all the vacancies reported and pending

before them, as also in respect of vacancies which may be

reported to them during the period the said Ranked List is still in

force, and such candidates would get guaranteed entitlement for

being considered against the reported vacancies. However, after

going through the various orders passed and taking into account

the efficacy of the first proviso to Rule 13, the Full Bench held

that the first Ranked List (RL­I) expired on 1.6.2016. For,

admittedly, the last batch in reference to the first Ranked List

(RL­I) was advised by KPSC on 11.11.2015; and their training

had begun on 1.5.2016. The Full Bench then adverted to the

settled legal position regarding the maxim of actus curiae

3 Unnikrishnan Nair G.S. and Anr. vs. State of Kerala and Ors. 2019 (2) KLJ 152
14

neminem gravabit, which means the act of the Court shall

prejudice no one. It observed that no prejudice had been caused

to any of the appellants in these cases. Further, even if there

was to be no litigation(s) and even if there were to be no interim

order(s) issued, the empanelled candidates would get advisement

only against the vacancies reported during the life of the Ranked

List. However, in this case, the first Ranked List (RL­I) had

already expired on 1.6.2016, before the 93 NJD vacancies were

reported to the KPSC on 12.7.2016. Lastly, the Full bench

adverted to Dr. Kesavankutty Nair (supra) and noted that the

principle enunciated therein (that candidates included do not

gain an indefeasible right to be appointed) is restated in

judgments of this court including (in S.S. Balu & Anr. vs. State

of Kerala & Ors.4 and Shankarsan Dash vs. Union of India5)

and thus it needed no further discussion. In conclusion, the Full

Bench observed thus:­

“88. To sum up:

(a) Normally, it is only in two specific contingencies
can the expiry of a rank list obtain postponement;
namely, if a court interdicts the appointing authorities
from reporting vacancies to the Public Service
Commission during its life time; or, if a court prohibits

4 (2009) 2 SCC 479
5 (1991) 3 SCC 47
15

the Public Service Commission from making advice from
the rank list within the period of one year or such other
periods as may be statutorily prescribed, after it is
brought into force.

(b) Therefore, in the case at hand, going by the first
proviso to Rule 13 of the Kerala Public Service
Commission Rules of Procedure, the Rank List dated
11.09.2013 will expire on completion of one month after
the training of the last batch advised from it commenced.

(c) Since the date of commencement of training of the last
batch was concededly on 01.05.2016, axiomatically, the
Rank List dated 11.09.2013 would expire on 01.06.2016.

(d) Consequently, the 93 Non Joining Duty vacancies
admittedly reported on 12.07.2016 cannot go to the credit
of the candidates included in the Rank List dated
11.09.2013.

(e) The principles of actus curiae neminem gravabit are not
attracted in these cases, since the petitioners and other
candidates in the Rank List dated 11.09.2013 have
obtained all the vacancies that would have been entitled
to them even if there were no litigations or interim orders.

(f) The views and conclusions in Kerala Public Service
Commission v. Dr. Kesavankutty Nair (1977 KLT 818),
that a candidate in a rank list does not get an
indefeasible right to be appointed, is certainly good law
and such position does not change even after the coming
into force of the PSC Procedure Rules because these
Rules only offer the candidates, included in a rank list, a
statutory right to be considered against the vacancies
available and reported during the life time of such list,
but not to be appointed.

That brings us to the question if these original petitions
need to be placed before the Division Bench for final
resolution or whether we would be justified in issuing
judgment.

Since the relief prayed for in these original petitions,
except O.P. (KAT) no. 362/2017, are exclusively for
appointment from the Rank List brought into force on
11.09.2013, to the 93 NJD vacancies reported on
12.07.2016 and since our answer to this claim is to the
negative, we are of the view that nothing else survives in
these original petitions and resultantly, invoking powers
under Section 7 of the Kerala High Court Act, we dismiss
those Original Petitions.

16

………”

Submissions of the Parties

13. The appellants have assailed the approach of the Full

Bench. According to the appellants, the Full Bench palpably

erred in examining the issues, in particular factual aspects, that

were already decided by the Division Bench. It could have only

discussed the issue or question referred to it by the Division

Bench regarding the correctness and applicability of the dictum

in Dr. Kesavankutty Nair (supra). In the present case,

the Division Bench had already allowed the appellant’s prayers,

by directing the KPSC to advise candidates from the first Ranked

List (RL­I) and holding that the first Ranked List (RL­I) expired on

19.7.2016, therefore, the Full Bench could not have deviated

from that finding of fact.

14. It is further submitted that the plea taken by the

Respondent No. 2 (State Police) and the Respondent No. 3 (KPSC)

is against their own admission of there being no “further selection
17

process related to this post”6 due to the status quo order passed

by this Court on 3.11.2014 and until final disposal of civil appeal

on 13.10.2015. Therefore, the decision of the KPSC entails

retrospective cancellation of the first Ranked List (RL­I) on

25.5.2015; and also publication of a new list (second Ranked List

on 26.5.2015), thereby treating the first Ranked List (RL­I) as

“ceased to exist” on 25.5.2015. This action was wholly arbitrary

and impinged upon the rights of the appellants enunciated in

Rule 14 of the 1976 Rules. It is also submitted that KPSC was

empowered under the 1976 Rules (Rule 10) to adopt a special

procedure regarding such cases in order to reduce the hardship

to be caused to the candidates and who were prejudiced due to

no fault of theirs.

15. The appellants adopted the view taken by the Division

Bench regarding the date of expiry of the first Ranked List (RL­I)

being 19.7.2016 due to the judicial intervention vide interim

order(s) passed, as a result whereof an embargo was placed on

giving effect to the first Ranked List (RL­I) for a period of 22

months (from 5.12.2013 till 13.10.2015). Further, contended the

appellants, the KPSC and the State Police had failed to adhere to
6 In Counter Affidavit of Contempt Case (C) 562 of 2015
18

the order passed by the Tribunal (dated 5.4.2016 in O.A. No. 306

of 2016 and connected O.As.) to report existing vacancies and to

refrain from issuing any further advice. The appellants are also

aggrieved by the inaction of the KPSC and the State Police in

particular, for non­reporting and delayed reporting of the existing

vacancies, even when several vacancies had already arisen due to

NJD during the life of the first Ranked List (RL­I) and instead in

doing so on 12.7.2016. According to the appellants, it was the

fault of the Respondents, which, in no way, can be attributed to

the appellants.

16. The appellants have invoked the maxim actus curiae

neminem gravabit. According to them, it is the duty of the Court

to act equitably. The appellants drew support from the

judgments of this Court in Jang Singh vs. Brij Lal & Ors. 7,

Atma Ram Mittal vs. Ishwar Singh Punia8 and South

Eastern Coalfields Ltd vs. State of M.P. & Ors.9.

17. The appellants rest their case by submitting that there are

sufficient vacancies and only 22 candidates from the first Ranked

7 1964 (2) SCR 145
8 1988 (4) SCC 284
9 2003 (8) SCC 648
19

List (RL­I) are left pursuing their rights before this Court either

directly or through applications. Therefore, this Court ought to

invoke Article 142 of the Constitution of India and to do complete

justice to the parties, direct KPSC to issue advice to

accommodate the left out 22 candidates from the first Ranked

List (RL­I) against the existing vacancies.

18. The respondents have supported the conclusions recorded

by the Full Bench. It is urged that the Full Bench was obliged to

analyse the factual aspects of the case before it to effectively

answer the reference made by the Division Bench and in the

process could finally dispose of the petitions itself as per the High

Court Act/Rules. It is the case of KPSC that the first Ranked List

(RL­I) had expired on 25.5.2015 pursuant to publication of the

second Ranked List (RL­II) on 26.5.2015. On 20.10.2015, the

KPSC took a conscious decision that as a new list has been

published, the conditions regarding the training as predicated in

the Rules (first proviso to Rule 13 of the 1976 Rules) were

unavailable. In any case, the first Ranked List (RL­I) had expired

on 1.6.2016 (as observed by the Full Bench). For, the last batch

of candidates from first Ranked List (RL­I) was advised on
20

11.11.2015, for whom training had begun on 1.5.2016. In view

of the first proviso to Rule 13, the first Ranked List (RL­I), in law,

expired on 1.6.2016. As the 93 NJD vacancies were reported

thereafter on 12.7.2016, it would be of no avail to the candidates

empanelled in the first Ranked List (RL­I), which had ceased to

exist. It is also submitted that the Full Bench justly held that no

prejudice had been caused to the appellants because of the

interim order(s) passed. Notably, even the second Ranked List

(RL­II) issued on 26.5.2015 came to be cancelled with effect from

25.7.2018 and pursuant to the decision of the Full Bench, a third

list (RL­III) has been issued on 14.3.2019 and further an advice

has been issued by KPSC in reference to that list. In other

words, the existing reported vacancies will have to be filled up

hereafter on the basis of the third Ranked List (RL­III). The

appellants cannot be accommodated against these vacancies by

overlooking the claims of empanelled candidates in the third

Ranked List (RL­III).

19. The respondents have relied on Union of India & Ors. vs.

Kali Dass Batish & Anr.10 to contend that candidates included

in a Ranked List have only a statutory right to be considered
10 2006 (1) SCC 779
21

against the vacancies available and reported during the life time

of such list.

20. During the pendency of these appeals, intervention

application(s) have been filed by the candidates empanelled in the

third Ranked List (RL­III) and would urge that their right flowing

from third Ranked List (RL­III) cannot be undermined by

accommodating the appellants against the existing vacancies, to

which they had no claim. It is their case that the first Ranked

List (RL­I) was in force for more than one year and eight months

and a total of 631 candidates have been advised from that list.

Further, considering Rule 13 of the 1976 Rules and the proviso

in particular, in law, the first Ranked List (RL­I) ceased to exist

on 1.6.2016. Reliance is placed on the exposition that

recruitment rules made under Article 309 of the Constitution

must be followed strictly and not in its breach (as held in Dr.

M.A. Haque & Ors. vs. Union of India & Ors. 11, K.

Thulaseedharan vs. Kerala State Public Service Commission

Trivandrum & Ors12 and Deepa Keyes vs. Kerala State

Electricity Board & Anr.13). Resultantly, the 93 NJD vacancies
11 (1993) 2 SCC 213
12 (2007) 6 SCC 190
13 (2007) 6 SCC 194
22

reported on 12.7.2016 and all vacancies arising thereafter could

be filled only by the empanelled candidates from the third

Ranked List (RL­III) until a fresh Ranked List is issued and not

from expired lists [the first Ranked List (RL­I) and the second

Ranked List (RL­II), respectively].

21. We have heard Mr. Dushyant Dave, learned senior counsel

appearing for the appellants, Mr. Vipin Nair, learned counsel for

the KPSC, Mr. G. Prakash, learned counsel for the State of Kerala

and Mr. P.V. Surendranath, learned senior counsel for the

intervenors.

Consideration

22. After cogitating over the rival submissions, the first issue

which needs to be examined is about the limitation on exercise of

jurisdiction by the Full Bench of the High Court, in a reference

made by the Division Bench. Ordinarily, the Full Bench is

expected to decide only those issues which are referred to it by

the Division Bench and must eschew from examining merits of

the case as such. We are fortified in so observing in light of the
23

dictum of this Court in T.A. Hameed vs. M. Viswanathan14. At

the same time, we are also guided by the dictum of this Court in

State of Punjab vs. Salil Sabhlok & Ors.15. In that case, the

Full Bench of the High Court while deciding the Reference,

adjudicated other matters. In the concurring opinion, Justice

Madan B. Lokur, as he then was, observed thus: ­

“Additional questions framed by the Full Bench

137. The learned counsel supporting the appointment of
Mr Dhanda submitted that the Full Bench could not
expand the scope of the reference made to it by the
Division Bench, nor could it frame additional questions.

138. Generally speaking, they are right in their
contention, but it also depends on the reference
made.

139. The law on the subject has crystallised through a
long line of decisions and it need not be reiterated again
and again:

………

140. There is no bar shown whereby a Bench is
precluded from referring the entire case for decision by a
larger Bench—it depends entirely on the reference made.
In any event, that issue does not arise in this appeal and
so nothing more need be said on the subject.”

In view of the above, our answer to the issue under consideration

must depend on the Reference Order as made by the Division

Bench. At the same time, we must hasten to advert to the Kerala

14 (2008) 3 SCC 243
15 (2013) 5 SCC 1
24

High Court Act, 1958 (for short, “the High Court Act”) providing

for the procedure on Reference to Full Bench. Section 7 of the

said Act reads thus: ­

“7. Procedure on reference to Full Bench: ­

When a question of law is referred to a Full Bench, the
Full Bench, may finally decide the case or return it
with [sic] an expression of its opinion upon the question
referred for final adjudication by the Bench which
referred the question or, in the absence of either or both
of the referring judges, by another Bench.”
(emphasis supplied)

On a plain reading of this provision, it is amply clear that the Full

Bench is competent to finally decide the case itself. It is an

enabling provision. Nevertheless, we may first advert to the

nature of Reference made by the Division Bench in the present

case vide order dated 16.11.2018. The Division Bench in its

Reference Order, had articulated the question posed by the

appellants herein as to whether the candidates from the first

Ranked List (RL­I) or from the second Ranked List (RL­II) have to

be advised for the 93 (NJD) vacancies reported to the KPSC on

12.7.2016. From paragraph 5 onwards of the Reference Order,

the Division Bench adverted to the relevant facts and noted that

the candidates in the first Ranked List (RL­I) have to be advised
25

for appointment to fill up the 93 NJD vacancies reported on

12.7.2016. After so observing, the Division Bench adverted to

Rule 13 of the 1976 Rules and two maxims of equity – actus

curiae neminem gravabit (an Act of Court shall prejudice no man)

and lex non cogit ad impossibilia (the law does not compel the

man to do that which he cannot perform) – to be apposite, but

entertained some doubt about the observations of Coordinate

Bench of the same High Court in Dr. Kesavankutty Nair

(supra). Resultantly, the Division Bench thought it appropriate

to refer the entire matter to the Full Bench. The relevant extract

of the reference order reads thus: ­

‘‘………………
We doubt the correctness of the decision in Dr.
Kesavankutty Nair’s case (supra) and judicial propriety
compels us to refer this batch of cases to a Full Bench
therefore.

The counsel submits that an early hearing of the cases is
warranted since the 93 NJD vacancies have not yet been
filled up and that the candidates have been anxiously
waiting for their turn to come. The Registry shall
therefore place the papers before the Hon’ble Chief
Justice for appropriate constitution of the Full Bench and
an early resolution of the dispute.’’

On perusal of the Reference Order, it appears that the Division

Bench analysed the factual matrix of the case to opine that the

candidates empanelled in the first Ranked List (RL­I) have to be

advised for appointment to fill up the 93 NJD vacancies reported
26

on 12.7.2016. However, it stopped short of issuing direction to

the respondents on account of the exposition in Dr.

Kesavankutty Nair (supra) and the purport of the governing

rules. Further, the Reference Order had not formulated any

specific question to be answered by the Full Bench, but an

omnibus direction issued to the Registry to place the papers

before the Hon’ble Chief Justice for constitution of the Full Bench

and “an early resolution of the dispute”. Such an omnibus

reference would include exercise of jurisdiction by the Full Bench

under Section 7 of the High Court Act, to finally decide the case

itself. Ostensibly, it may appear as if Full Bench was sitting over

in appeal on the findings of fact already recorded by the Division

Bench. However, we find from the impugned judgment of the

Full Bench that it was fully conscious about the limited scope of

enquiry in Reference placed before it, but after due consideration

of all aspects, deemed it necessary to analyse the factual matrix

of the case in its correct perspective to justly answer the

Reference. In the process, the Full Bench had to deviate from the

observation made by the Division Bench that the candidates

empanelled in the first Ranked List (RL­I) ought to be advised for

appointment to fill up the 93 NJD vacancies reported on
27

12.7.2016, as, in its view, in law, the first Ranked List (RL­I) had

expired on 1.6.2016. In other words, the Full Bench was fully

conscious of the scope of its jurisdiction, as is evinced from the

opening statement, in paragraph four of the impugned judgment.

After recording the factual matrix and rival submissions, in

paragraph 47 of the impugned judgment, the Full Bench noted

that it was proceeding to answer the legal contentions within the

parameters of the applicable law and after adverting to Rules 13

and 14 of the 1976 Rules, it analysed the factual matrix to

conclude that since the last batch was advised by the KPSC from

the first Ranked List (RL­I) on 11.11.2015 and it had joined

training on 1.5.2016 in terms of first proviso to Rule 13, the first

Ranked List (RL­I) ceased to operate from 1.6.2016 (namely, on

completion of one month from 1.5.2016). We may usefully

reproduce paragraphs 47 to 49 of the impugned judgment,

wherein the Full Bench observed thus: ­

“47. With the dialectical submissions of the parties
recorded as above, we will now proceed to answer the
legal contentions within the parameters of the applicable
law.

48. The sure way for finding answers to the various
issues impelled in the Reference Order is to examine and
analyse the specific provisions of the PSC Procedure
Rules, especially, as to what is meant by a rank list, as to
the stipulations relating to its life, as to the entitlement of
28

the candidates in the rank list to be appointed to the
vacancies reported and the manner in which such rank
list would normally expire.

49. In order to obtain a complete answer to the afore
questions, we must first have a glance at the statutory
provisions and prescriptions that govern the field, before
the submissions of the parties are analysed.’’

23. Thus understood, in the peculiar facts of this case, the Full

Bench had no other option but to analyse the factual matrix for

ascertaining the applicability of extant rules and to answer the

matters in issue involved in Reference appropriately. Suffice it to

observe that the impugned judgment cannot be overturned on

the basis of threshold (technical) plea under consideration. We

are inclined to say so also because this is the second round of

proceedings emanating from the selection process which had

commenced with issuance of notification as back as 28.9.2007,

for appointment to the post of Sub­Inspector of Police (Trainee).

We are of the considered opinion that no fruitful purpose will be

served by relegating the parties before the High Court on

technicality. That objection, for the reasons already recorded,

does not commend to us. Instead, in the peculiar facts of this

case, we deem it necessary to answer the merits of the

controversy so as to give quietus thereto concerning selection
29

process commenced as back as in 2007 vide notification dated

28.9.2007.

24. In that view of the matter, we proceed to examine the

purport of relevant rules and the applicability thereof to the fact

situation of the present case, adverted to by the Full Bench in the

impugned judgment to conclude that the first Ranked List (RL­I)

published on 11.9.2013 ceased to exist on 1.6.2016. Before we

dilate on this aspect, it would be apposite to advert to relevant

rules, namely, the 1976 Rules framed in exercise of powers under

Article 309 of the Constitution. Rules 13 and 14 thereof read

thus: ­

“13. The ranked lists published by the
Commission shall remain in force for a period of one
year from the date on which it was brought into force
provided that the said list will continue to be in force
till the publication of a new list after the expiry of the
minimum period of one year or till the expiry of three
years whichever is earlier:

Provided that the above rule shall not apply in respect of
ranked lists of candidates for admission to Training
Courses that leads to automatic appointment to Services
or posts and that in such cases the Ranked Lists shall
cease to be in force after one year from the date of
finalisation of the Ranked Lists or after one month
from the date of commencement of the course in
respect of the last batch selected from the list within
a period of one year from the date of finalisation of
the ranked lists whichever is later.

………
30

Provided further that a ranked list from which no
candidate is advised during the period of one year from
the date on which it was brought into force shall be kept
in force till the expiry of three years from the said date
and in a case where no candidate is advised from the
ranked list till the expiry of the said period of three years,
the duration of the ranked list shall be extended by the
Commission for a further period of one year or till at least
one candidate is advised from the list whichever is earlier.

………

14. The Commission shall advise candidates for
all the vacancies reported and pending before them
and the vacancies which may be reported to them for
the period during which the ranked lists are kept alive
in the order of priority, if any, and in the order of
merit subject to the rules of reservation and rotation,
wherever they are applicable.

Provided that the advice of candidates by the Commission
from the ranked list kept alive under the 5 th Proviso to 13
shall be confined to the vacancies that actually arose
during the normal period of validity of the ranked lists
under Rule 13 and certified to be as such by the
Appointing Authorities reporting vacancies to the Public
Service Commission.

… … …”
(emphasis supplied)

As regards the interpretation of Rule 13, the Full Bench observed

thus: ­

‘‘51. We notice that all the parties in these cases are
in unison that it is the afore Rule and its first proviso,
which alone are applicable in these cases, the posts in
question being ones to which automatic appointment is
made after a training course is completed.

52. Going solely by the afore Rule, a Rank List
published by the PSC will remain in force:

                   a)    either for a period of one year from the
                   date on which it is brought into force; or
                   b)    till the publication of a new list after the

expiry of the minimum period of one year; or
31

c) till the expiry of three years; whichever is
earlier.

53. Pertinently, after the Rule provides thus, its first
proviso, which is exclusively confined in its application to
a Rank List of candidates for admission to a training
course that leads to automatic appointment into service
or post, postulates that such a Rank List will cease to be
in force either:

a) after one year from the date of finalization
of the Rank List; or

b) after one month from the date of
commencement of the training of the last batch,
selected from the said list within a period of one
year from the date of finalization of the said list;
whichever is later. (emphasis supplied)

54. The sum total of these provisions, which position
is also expressly conceded by the various counsel for the
petitioners, is that the First Rank List dated 11.09.2013
would have, normally, in the absence of a challenge to it,
remained in force either till 10.09.2014 or till a date after
one month from the date of commencement of the
training of the last batch of candidates selected from that
list within a period of one year from its finalization.’’

On a plain reading of Rule 13, it is amply clear that the Ranked

List published by the Commission (KPSC) would remain in force

for a period of one year from the date on which it was brought

into force. It further envisages that the said list will continue to

be in force until the publication of a new list after the expiry of

the minimum period of one year or till the expiry of three years,

whichever is earlier. The first proviso is an exception to the

general rule. It predicates that the general rule shall not apply in

respect of Ranked List of candidates for admission to training
32

courses that leads to automatic appointment to services or posts

and that in such cases, the Ranked Lists shall cease to be in

force after one year from the date of finalization of the Ranked

Lists or after one month from the date of commencement of the

course in respect of the last batch selected from the list within a

period of one year from the date of finalisation of the Ranked

Lists, whichever is later. It is only this excepted eventuality

which may elongate the tenure of the Ranked List published by

the Commission (KPSC) beyond one year. The first Ranked List

(RL­I) was published on 11.9.2013, but because of fortuitous

situation, the final (third) advice from the first Ranked List (RL­I)

was made by the KPSC on 11.11.2015 and the last batch of 339

candidates so advised was sent for training on 1.5.2016.

Resultantly, the consequence provided by the first proviso to Rule

13 got triggered, whereby the first Ranked List (RL­I) ceased to

operate in law, with effect from 1.6.2016.

25. Be that as it may, the Full Bench adverted to the factual

matrix to discern the lifetime of the first Ranked List (RL­I) in the

following words: ­

‘‘66. As has been said by us more than once before,
the First Rank List came into force on 11.09.2013 and
33

continued till 05.12.2013 without any interdiction
whatsoever. On this date, the KAT issued an interim order
in O.A. No.2395/2013, directing the PSC not to advise
persons, who had obtained less than forty nine marks in
the Preliminary Examination, to the Open Competition
turns. Even though this order certainly had the potential
of changing the manner of operation of the First Rank
List, it is luculent that there was no total interdiction and
that the PSC was fully enabled to advise candidates from
it, which, in fact, they did.

67. Thereafter, the KAT issued a final order on
20.02.2014 directing the PSC to recast the First Rank
List, which was approved by this Court by judgment
dated 08.08.2014. Pertinently, all these dates were within
a period of one year from the date of coming into force of
the First Rank List, but there was no absolute interdiction
in operating the said rank list.

68. In fact, it is on record that the PSC had made
two advices, namely on 04.11.2013 and 20.01.2014 to all
the then available vacancies. Ineluctably, the second
advice was after the interim order of the KAT, which, as
the learned Standing Counsel informs us, was enabled
because, there was no candidate, who had obtained below
forty nine marks in the Preliminary Examination, required
to be eliminated at that state, thus allowing the PSC to go
on smoothly with that advice on 20.01.2014, strictly as
per the First Rank List. In other words, two sets of advices
made by the PSC were not impacted by the interim order
of the KAT and hence, going by the first proviso to Rule
13, the First Rank List could have expired one month
after the second batch, namely, who were advised on
20.01.2014, commenced their training, if no further
vacancies were reported thereafter.

69. That said, however, it is also on record and is
conceded by the petitioners that periodic reporting of
vacancies were made to the PSC by the appointing
authority thereafter, but that on account of the interim
order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 03.11.2014,
whereby the PSC was asked to maintain status quo, the
PSC took the position that it could not advice any further
batches against the then available reported vacancies.
This is clear from the stand of the PSC in their counter
affidavit in O.P.(KAT) No.256/2017 (afore­extracted) that
34

advice against the vacancies reported from February 2014
onwards had to be kept pending due to this order.

70. Therefore, even as per the PSC, they were fully
inhibited by the interim order of the Hon’ble Supreme
Court from making any further advice and we are,
therefore, of the view that the petitioners are justified in
saying that the First Rank List could not expire during
the period of that order.

71. The Civil Appeal was, thereafter, disposed of by
the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 13.10.2015, approving the
First Rank List dated 11.09.2013, thus setting aside the
judgment of this Court as also that of the KAT and we see
that the PSC had, consequent to this, made a third advice
on 11.11.2015. This action of the PSC was apposite
because the period between the interim order of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 03.11.2014 and the final
judgment dated 13.10.2015, certainly would have to be
excluded while calculating the life of the First Rank List,
since, during this period, there was either a complete
interdiction on the PSC to make advice or the PSC
interpreted the interim order of the Hon’ble Supreme
Court to be to that effect. Therefore, this eleven month
and odd period was certainly eligible to be added on to the
life span of the First Rank List and the PSC rightly made
an advice of about 339 candidates against the vacancies
reported from February 2014 until the date of the said
advice. This batch, thus, for all practical purposes,
became the last batch to be advised from the said rank
list.

72. Viewed from the afore factual perspective, it
becomes easy to determine the expiry of the First Rank
List because, going by the first proviso to Rule 13, it
would certainly expire within a period of one month after
the training of this last batch commenced. We are
gratified that the date of commencement of training of
this batch is not disputed with all parties conceding that
it was on 01.05.2016. Measured so, the rank list would,
therefore, expire on 01.06.2016.’’

We are in agreement with the analysis of factual matrix of the

case undertaken by the Full Bench. Having said that, we must

affirm the conclusion and application of Rule 13 by the Full
35

Bench, to hold that the first Ranked List (RL­I) expired on

1.6.2016.

26. The interim order passed by the Tribunal on 5.12.2013, in

no way interdicted the operation of the first Ranked List (RL­I).

As a matter of fact, none of the advised candidates from the first

Ranked List (RL­I) had secured less than 49 marks in the

preliminary examination. In any case, the original application(s)

filed by the appellants before the Tribunal came to be disposed of

on 20.2.2014, which order eventually became subject matter of

Civil Appeal No. 8536/2015 and connected appeal before this

Court. The operation of the first Ranked List (RL­I) was in a way

interdicted for the first time on account of interim order passed

by this Court on 3.11.2014, which stood vacated whilst allowing

the Civil Appeal on 13.10.2015. The one­year period referred to

in Rule 13 of the 1976 Rules, as per the general application,

would have expired on 10.9.2014. There was no complete

interdiction of the stated list until 3.11.2014 and for that reason,

the KPSC was justified in issuing advice even after the interim

order was passed by the Tribunal, namely, on 20.1.2014 (before

the status quo order was passed by this Court for the first time
36

on 3.11.2014). The final advice was admittedly issued on

11.11.2015 after the disposal of civil appeals by this Court on

13.10.2015. Pursuant to the final (third) advice, the last batch of

339 empanelled candidates from the first Ranked List (RL­I) was

sent for training on 1.5.2016, as a result of which the first

Ranked List (RL­I) ceased to exist on expiry of one month

therefrom i.e. on 1.6.2016. This conclusion has been justly

arrived at by the Full Bench disregarding the decision of the

KPSC, dated 26.10.2015 to treat the first Ranked List (RL­I)

having ceased to exist due to publication of second Ranked List

(RL­II) on 26.5.2015.

27. The Full Bench also took notice of the fact that the

vacancies were reported after a gap of more than eight months on

12.7.2016 and that the last (third) advice was made on

11.11.2015. The Full Bench taking notice of the settled legal

position, as expounded in S.S. Balu (supra), Kerala Public

Service Commission vs. Shanil Kumar16, Lal Sudheer & Ors.

vs. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation & Anr.17,

Secretary, Kerala Public Service Commission vs. Sheeja P.R.

16 (2002) 1 KLT 604
17 (2003) 1 KLT 329
37

& Anr.18 and Nair Service Society vs. Distt. Officer, Kerala

Public Service Commission & Ors.19, went on to hold that by

now it is well established that the Commission (KPSC) cannot

advise any candidate after the expiry of a Ranked List, even to an

NJD vacancy, if such vacancies are reported after the expiry of

the list in question. We agree with this opinion of the Full Bench.

Admittedly, all the appellants were empanelled in the first

Ranked List (RL­I), which, as aforementioned, had ceased to exist

on 1.6.2016. Resultantly, the appellants cannot set up any claim

in respect of vacancies reported thereafter. The NJD vacancies

reported after 1.6.2016 must be filled up from amongst the

empanelled candidates in the fresh Ranked List (i.e. the second

Ranked List (RL­II) published on 26.5.2015 or the third Ranked

List (RL­III) published on 14.3.2019, as the case may be).

28. We will revert to the third issue, which has now become a

side issue and insignificant to the case on hand ­ as to whether

the maxims ­ actus curiae neminem gravabit and lex non cogit ad

impossibilia will come to the aid of the appellants. From the

analysis of factual matrix of the case on hand, it becomes evident

18 (2013) 2 SCC 56
19 (2003) 12 SCC 10
38

that there was no complete interdiction of the first Ranked List

(RL­I) published on 11.9.2013 until the order of status quo was

passed on 3.11.2014 by this Court. It is true that despite the

order of status quo, the second Ranked List (RL­II) came to be

published on 26.5.2015. According to the respondents, the order

of status quo must be construed as only restraining the

respondents from giving effect to the first Ranked List (RL­I) in

any manner.

29. Notably, the issue pending consideration in the civil appeal

in which the order of status quo was passed by this Court on

3.11.2014, was in reference to the directions given by the

Tribunal on 20.2.2014 to re­cast the first Ranked List (RL­I) with

main and supplementary lists, and to refrain from advising

candidates who had secured less than 49 marks. As noted

earlier, no candidate with less than 49 marks had been advised

either from the final first Ranked List (RL­I) published on

11.9.2013 or the second Ranked List (RL­II) published on

26.5.2015. Furthermore, this Court while disposing of Civil

Appeal No. 8536/2015 and connected appeal on 13.10.2015, to

which the appellants were also party, did not issue any direction

to the respondents to report about the existing NJD vacancies at
39

the relevant time or otherwise, to KPSC, so as to accommodate

the remaining empanelled candidates from the first Ranked List

(RL­I) before giving effect to the second Ranked List (RL­II) dated

26.5.2015.

30. Be it noted that grievance about publication of the second

Ranked List (RL­II) during the pendency of appeal before this

Court and despite the order of status quo, was not pursued

before this Court on behalf of the appellants. We find force in the

argument of the respondents that the order of status quo though

interdicted processing of the first Ranked List (RL­I), that

restriction stood lifted with setting aside of the decisions of the

Tribunal and the High Court and allowing the appeal on

13.10.2015. Sans any direction by this Court and challenge to

publication of the second Ranked List (RL­II) on 26.5.2015,

nothing came in the way of the respondents to proceed with the

final advice made on 11.11.2015 relating to 339 empanelled

candidates from the first Ranked List (RL­I), who in turn,

commenced their training on 1.5.2016.

31. Considering the indisputable facts and unexceptionable

finding recorded by the Full Bench which commends to us, it

must follow that the appellants were not entitled to base their
40

claim in reference to the first Ranked List (RL­I), which had

ceased to exist on 1.6.2016, by filing writ petition(s) on

12.10.2017 for the stated reliefs. As the first Ranked List (RL­I),

in law, ceased to exist from 1.6.2016, no relief could be granted

to the appellants and the principles of actus curiae neminem

gravabit and lex non cogit ad impossibilia will be of no avail, as it

was not a case of any prejudice caused to the appellants on

account of Court order as such.

32. Having said thus, we uphold the judgment of the Full Bench

of the High Court, which is impugned in these appeals.

33. Accordingly, these appeals fail and the same are accordingly

dismissed with no order as to costs. Pending interlocutory

applications, if any, shall stand disposed of.

…………………………….J.
(A.M. Khanwilkar)

…………………………….J.
(Dinesh Maheshwari)
New Delhi;

April 24, 2020.



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