Under Indian Army, can mere acceptance of a resignation create a vacancy for being filled up from cadet in waiting? Read what Del HC says

Delhi High Court: While addressing a petition seeking direction for issuance of a joining letter for joining the pre-commission training at Officers Training Academy, Chennai, the Division Bench of Manmohan and Navin Chawla, JJ., made a very significant observation that:

“Mere acceptance of resignation may not be sufficient to consider creation of a vacancy for being filled up from the cadet in the waiting.”

Petitioner was short-listed and called to appear before the Service Selection Board for an interview.  The merit list was published by the respondents on 10-11-2020 wherein the petitioner was placed at Serial Number 9 in the order of merit.

Eleven candidates, including the petitioner, who were successful at the SSB interview, were subjected to a medical examination wherein two candidates, placed at Serial Numbers 3 and 7 in the merit list, were found medically unfit.

Top six candidates on the merit list were required to undergo pre-commission training at OTA with effect from 10-01-2021.

Later, the petitioner learnt that candidate placed at the 6th position voluntarily withdrew himself from the OTA and was accordingly allowed to leave the Academy.

Hence, the petitioner claimed that on withdrawal of the said candidate, the petitioner should have been issued a joining letter, though he was not issued the same and hence preferred the present petition.

Analysis, Law and Decision

With respect to the vacancy arising due to resignation of the person concerned, the instruction in regard to following the procedure for processing of resignations stated that, where the resignation is accepted and approved by the Commandant, intimation thereof has to be sent to the Recruiting Directorate Army HQ to ensure that a replacement is sent to the Academy within the stipulated joining period and the vacancy created due to the resignation is not wasted.

Bench opined that,

“Mere acceptance of resignation may not be sufficient to consider creation of a vacancy for being filled up from the cadet in the waiting.”

As far as the late induction period is concerned, the same is provided in the instructions dated 26-07-2000. It states that in the OTA, late induction can be approved only for a period of three weeks. In the present matter the time for issuing a joining letter was not available.

 It is settled law that successful candidates, even if there is vacancy, do not acquire any indefensible right to be appointed; their only right is to be considered for appointment, though at the same time the appointment cannot be denied arbitrarily and whimsically (Refer: State of Haryana v Subhash Chander Marwaha, (1974) 3 SCC 220).

Lastly, the High Court held that the plea of the petitioner that he be allowed to join the training to the next course could not be accepted as the respondents explained that there was no procedure of carrying forward of a vacancy to the next course.

In view of the above, present petition was dismissed.[Sanskar Sharma v. Union of India,  2021 SCC OnLine Del 4277, decided on 3-09-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner: Indra Sen Singh, Kritika Chhatwal, Advs.

For the Respondents: Rashmi Bansal, SCGC

Rajat Bhatia,

Manpreet Kaur Bhasin, Advs

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