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Benny Sebasstian v. State of Kerala

Service Law – Writ of quo warranto Maintainability of Public Interest Litigation in service matters If a public interest litigant is able to establish a case for issuance a writ of quo warranto, no doubt, writ court is vested with ample powers to do so.

But, here is a case where the discussion would make it clear that none of the contentions advanced by the petitioner have factual or legal basis, in order to come to the conclusion that respondents 3 and 4 are usurpers in the post of Assistant Geologist or Geologist. On the other hand, it is clear that the appointment of said respondents as Assistant Geologists in the Geology Department was made in accordance with law and having been satisfied that they have the required qualification as per the Kerala Geology Service Rules, 1981. Further, it was after successful completion of their probation, the respondents 3 and 4 were appointed as Geologist, in terms of the provisions of Exhibit-P1 Special Rules. In view of the discussions made above, we have no hesitation to hold that petitioner has not made out a case of public interest, in the matter of appointment of respondents 3 and 4, as Geologist, and in our view, the requirements under law have been followed by the said respondents as regards the extension of their probation period. It is for the Government to take a decision in the applications submitted by respondents 3 and 4, taking into account the legal and factual circumstances, as per Exhibit-P1 Special Rules, 2009 and the provisions of Kerala State and Subordinate Services Rules, 1958. Since the petitioner has not made out a case for interference, we are of the view that the primary reliefs sought for by the petitioner cannot be granted. We are also of the view that the other relief, to quash the orders issued by respondents 3 and 4, while functioning as Geologists, as nonest in law, sought for by the petitioner, consequent to the main relief of writ of quo warranto, also cannot be granted, since we are not granting the primary reliefs sought for by the petitioner. In the result, this Writ Petition fails and accordingly, it is dismissed.

State and Subordinate Service Rules, 1958 (Kerala) – Government is vested with powers as per Rule 21 of KS & SSR, to extend the period of probation exceeding one year.

Since the 3rd and 4th respondents have appeared for the departmental test and result is awaited, the Government is having sufficient powers to extend the probation period and for that purpose their applications are pending. Hence, the party respondents cannot be said to be usurpers, as contended by the petitioner. They were legally appointed to the posts in question on the basis of the qualifications prescribed under the Special Rules and their service is regulated as per the provisions of law.

Geology Service Special Rules, 2009 (Kerala)

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Case Number : W.P. (C) No. 19441 of 2021; 11 January 2022

Petitioner by Advs. Shri P. Ramakrishnan, Preethi Ramakrishnan (P-212), T.C.krishna, C. Anilkumar, Asha K. Shenoy, Sr. Pratap Abraham Varghese; Respondents R3 & R4 By Advs. K. Jayakumar (Sr.), S.K. Saju, Manju E.R. R1 & R2 by V. Tek Chand, Senior Govt. Pleader