UPSC candidates have no right to cadre of choice: Supreme Court

What is the news?

The Supreme Court has ruled that the successful UPSC aspirants have no right to be allocated to a cadre of their choice.

About the case

An IAS officer from Kerala was allotted to the Himachal Pradesh cadre. Kerala government was not considered during the allocation of cadre. This is seen as a violation of the allocation circular and a case has been filed in Kerala High Court.

Note: Under Rule 5(1) of the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954, the allocation of cadre officers to the various cadres has to be made by the Central Government in consultation with the State Government or the State Government concerned.

Kerala High Court has asked the Centre to grant the Kerala cadre to an IAS officer instead of the allotted cadre. The Centre filed an appeal challenging the HC decision in 2017. Now, the SC set aside the Kerala High Court order.

What are the SC’s observations regarding cadre allocation?

Previous cases: The court pointed out that the judgment in Union of India and Ors v. Rajiv Yadav, IAS and Ors case, 1995. According to the case judgment, the allotment of cadre is not a matter of right.

Allocation was an incidence of service: The court also said that “a selected candidate had a right to consider the appointment of the IAS, but he/she had no such right to be allocated to the cadre of his/her choice or to his/her home state. Allocation of cadre was an incidence of service.”

Nature of All India Service: The court also mentioned that as a candidate for All-India Service, the candidate has opted to serve anywhere in the country.

Home State has no discretion: The court held that the State has “no discretion of allocation of a cadre at its whims and fancies”, and “therefore, the Tribunal or the High Court should have refrained from interfering with the allocation of the cadre”.

Not a violation of allocation circular: The court held that the Cadre Rules are satisfied when the consultation was made with the State to which allocation was made (Not with the state to which the candidate belongs).

Source: This post is based on the article “UPSC candidates have no right to cadre of choice: Supreme Court” published in Indian Express on 23rd October 2021.

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