Chh HC | Art. 14 of the Constitution does not envisage negative equality; Grant of study leave to employees under probation, cannot be a ground for claiming negative parity in the teeth of R. 42 (5) of Chhattisgarh Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 2010

Chhattisgarh High Court: A Division Bench of Arup Kumar Goswami CJ. and Rajendra Chandra Singh Samant J. dismissed the appeal and remarked that quality cannot be claimed in illegality.

The facts of the case are such that the writ petitioners were appointed to the post of Agriculture Teachers. At the time of appointment, the petitioners were pursuing PhD courses and as a result of obtaining an appointment, they could not pursue the Ph.D. course. A joint application was filed by the petitioners to allow them to pursue Ph.D. course and to grant leave without pay, but no response was given by the authorities. Thus, the petitioners approached and filed writ petition which was disposed of providing that the representation of the petitioners would be considered within a period of 15 days. Assailing this, instant appeal was preferred.

The Single Judge observed, “It is relevant at this juncture to take note of the fact that as regards grant of leave is concerned, the same has been dealt with under the Chhattisgarh Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 2010.”

Counsel for appellants Mr. Kesharwani submitted that there are number of instances when the Government granted study leave even though the conditions enumerated under Rule 42(5) of the Rules of 2010 had not been fulfilled and therefore, the present petitioners are treated discriminatorily.

The Court relied on judgment Basawaraj v. Special Land Acquisition Officer, (2013) 14 SCC 81, and observed that Article 14 of the Constitution does not envisage negative equality but has only a positive aspect and thus, if some other similarly situated persons had been granted some relief/benefit inadvertently or by mistake, such an order does not confer any legal right on others to get the same relief as well.

The Court further observed that Article 14 of the Constitution is not meant to perpetuate illegality or fraud, even by extending the wrong decisions made in other cases. If a wrong is committed in an earlier case, it cannot be perpetuated. Equality cannot be claimed in illegality and therefore, cannot be enforced by a citizen or Court in a negative manner.

The Court thus held “we find no good ground to interfere with the order of the learned Single Judge and, accordingly, the writ appeal is dismissed.”

[Lokesh Ahirwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2022 SCC OnLine Chh 757, decided on 27-04-2022]


For Appellants: Mr. Rajesh Kumar Kesharwani, Advocate.

For Respondents No. 1 to 5: Ms. Astha Shukla, Government Advocate.

For Respondent No. 6: Mr. Shashank Thakur, Advocate

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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