Thursday, December 1, 2011

Judiciary can Review Constitutional Bodies’ Decisions, Says SC

The Supreme Court has said that constitutional status of the UPSC can’t stop the judiciary from quashing its illegal decisions or actions. The apex court held as illegal UPSC’s decision to reject the candidature of an applicant for the post of legal advisor in the land and building department of the Delhi government.
“It is true that the commission is a constitutional body but its actions and decisions are not immune from judicial review,” said a bench comprising Justice GS Singhvi and Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya in its judgement.
“If a competent judicial forum finds that the impugned action is ultra vires, the Constitution or any legislation or is otherwise arbitrary or discriminatory, there will be ample justification to nullify the same.”
It dismissed the appeal of the UPSC, challenging order of the Delhi HC, which upheld the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal nullifying its decision rejecting the candidature of the concerned applicant.
UPSC had rejected the application on the ground that there was no document enclosed by the applicant to show that he was awarded a degree in law by a recognised university, which was an essential qualification for the post. Additional solicitor-general Indira Jaisingh on behalf of UPSC had told the apex court that both CAT and the high court had “committed serious error by tinkering with UPSC’s decision, which is a constitutional body”.
The applicant, however, said he had the prescribed qualification and had produced the relevant documents. The bench said that since the applicant had attached the certificate with his application, the commission was not justified in refusing to entertain his application for the legal advisor’s post.

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