Chapter 41: STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Articles 315 – 323
contain elaborate provisions regarding composition,
appointment and removal of
members and other matters related to SPSC.
The commission has a chairman and
other members as determined by the governor. Constitution
hasn’t given any
qualifications except that 1/2 of the members should have
at least 10 years of
experience under central or state government.
The chairman and
member occupy office for 6 years or till they reach 62
years. They can resign
by writing to Governor and also be removed by president
before their term
expires. Grounds for removal are proved misbehaviour or
incapacity. In this case
president has to refer matter to SC and if SC inquiry
finds him guilty then SC
can advice removal. This advice is binding on president. Other
engages in paid employment, becomes bankrupt or in
presidents opinion is unfit
to continue due to infirm body or mind.
Governor can suspend
the chairman or member pending investigation.
Governor can appoint
acting chairman from amongst the members if the office of
chairman falls vacant
or chairman can’t discharge duties.
Commission members aren’t
eligible for reappointment to same post.
Chairman is ineligible
for reappointment under any government. But is eligible
for employment as
chairman or member of UPSC or chairman of other SPSC.
Member of SPSC can only
be appointed as chairman or member of UPSC or any other
SPSC or chairman of
All expense of SPSC is
charged on the consolidated fund on state.
for appointments to state service.
It is consulted on
matters of personnel requirement like:
matters, deciding suitability of candidates, their
promotion and transfer.
of legal expense incurred by a civil servant in defending
an action performed
in course of official duty.
of employees, pension for injuries sustained on duty,
The advice of SPSC is not
binding on government. Consultation of SPSC is a
discretionary power not
mandatory and can’t be challenged in courts.
The jurisdiction of
SPSC can be extended by state legislature. SPSC presents
an annual report to
governor which is tabled in the house.
SPSC isn’t consulted
in the following matters
for posts taking consideration to claims of backward
caste, SC and ST.
Governor can exclude
posts, services, matters from purview of SPSC. With
respect to state services
governor can make regulations specifying matters where
consultation of SPSC isn’t
necessary but such regulations have to be approved by
state legislature within
14 days. Creation of SVC has affected its role in
consultation on disciplinary
JOINT PUBLIC SERVICE
provision for a JPSC to cater to needs of two or more
states. JPSC is formed by
an act of parliament. It submits reports to state
governors. President decides
composition, tenure, conditions of service, removal. Chairman
and Members have
a term of six years or till 62. They can be suspended or
removed by president.
Or they can resign by writing to president.
A radical change has taken place in the constitutional law relating to
Services by the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act, 1976, which inserted
into the Constitution Art, 323A
To take out the
Constitution and adjudication of disputes relating to the recruitment
the Administrative and conditions of service of the public services of the
Union and of the States from the hands of the CiVil Courts and the High Courts and to place It before an
Administrative Tribunal for the Union or of a State
This provision of the Constitution was to come into effect only if it was
implemented by a law made by Parliament. That law has been enacted by
Parliament In 1985 and brought into force on October 2, 1985, by setting up
a Central Administrative Tribunal
According to this Administrative Tribunal Act. 1985 (as amended in
1900). the Central Administrative Tribunal will adjudicate disputes and
complaints with respect to the 'recruitment and conditions of service of
persons appointed to public services in connection with the affairs
of the Union', excepting
Members of the Defence Forces.
Officers and servants of the Supreme Court or of any High Court
Members of the secretarial staff of Parliament or of any Legislature
of any State or Union Territory.
Excluding the above categories, any public servant of the Union who is
aggrieved, in the matter of his appointment, removal or reduction in rank or
the like, shall have to be contented with administrative justice by a Tribunal
instead of by a Court of law. The only Court to which the aggrieved person
might run, as a last resort, is the Supreme Court.
The decisions of the Administrative Tribunal can, therefore be
challenged only before the Supreme Court and the High Court shall not be
competent to interfere . But subsequently, the position
turned out to be otherwise as the Supreme Court declared the "exclusion of Jurisdiction"
clauses in all the legislations enacted in pursuance of these Articles,
unconstitutional to the extent they excluded the jurisdiction of the High
Courts and the Supreme Court
As stated already, it shall be the duty of the Union Commission to
present annually to the President a report as to the work done by the
On receipt of such report the President shall cause a copy thereof together with a memorandum explaining, if any advice of the Commission was not
accepted, the reason for such
non-acceptance, to be laid before each House of
A State Public Service Commission has a similar
duty to submit an annual report to the Governor and the latter has a duty to
lay a copy of such report before the State Legislature with a memorandum
explaining the cases. if any, where the advice of the Commission was not
accepted by the Govemment
As stated earlier, the function of the Public Service Commission is only
advisory and the Constitution has no provision to make it obhgatory upon
the Government to act upon the advice of the Commission in any case.
The reason is that, under the Parliamentary system of government, it is the Cabinet which is responsible for
the proper administration of the country and its responsibility is to Parliament
They cannot, therefore,
abjure this ultimate responsibility by binding
themselves by the opinion of any other body of persons.
On the other hand,
in matters relating to the recruitment to the Services and the like, it would be
profitable for the Ministers to take the advice of a body of experts
It is in
this light that Sir Samuel Hoare Justified the parallel provisions as to the
Public Service Commissions in the Government of India Act, 1935
"Experience goes to show that they are likely to have more influence if they are
advisory than if they have mandatory powers. The danger is that if you give them
mandatory powers you then set up two govemmcnts."
But, though the Simon Commisston was conscious or the fact that left
alone, the Ministers might use their position "to promote family or
communal interests at the expense of the efficiency or just administration of
the services", no safeguard was prescribed in the Government of India Act,
1935 against a flagrant disregard of the recommendations of the
Commissions by the Government.
In view of the possibility of such abuse,
the Constitution has provided the safeguard (referred to above) of the
Commission's Report being laid before Parliament (or State Legislarure),
through the President (or the Governor) as the case may be.
Government is under an obligation, while presenting such Report, to explain
the reasons why in any particular case the recommendation of the
Commission has been overridden by the Government.
In view of this
obligation to submit to Parliament an explanation for non-acceptance of the
advice of the Commission, the number of such cases may be said to have
been kept at a minimum.
Notwithstanding the above safeguard. there is criticism from certain
quarters that patronage is still exercised by the Government by resorting to
(a) One of these Is the system of making ad hoc appointments for a
temporary period without consulting the Public Service Commission, and then approaching the Commission to approve of the appointment at a time
when the person appointed has already been in service for some time and
the recommendations of his superiors are available to him, in addition to the
experience already gained by him in the work, which puts him at an
advantage over the new candidates.
The Supreme Court has been
deprecating this practice of making ad hoc appointments.
(b)Sometimes the rules laying down the qualifications for the office to
which such appointment has been made is changed retrospectively to fit in
(c) Another complaint is that sometimes the Reports are presented
before Parliament (or State Legislature as the case may be) long after the
year under review.
This, however, does not appear to be permissible under
the Constitution. So far as the duty of the Commission to report to the
President or the Governor is concerned, the Constitution says that it must be
Hence, his obligation cannot be postponed for more than a
few months from the end of the period under Report
The duty of the
President or the Governor is to present the Report to Parliament Or the State
Legislature "on receipt of such Report".
Though no specific time-limit is
imposed it is clear that It must be done as soon as possible after the receipt
of the annual Report and it cannot be construed that the obligation is
discharged by presenting the Report two or three years after the receipt or
by presenting the Reports for two or three years in a lump.
before the Legislature must also be an annual affair, and, if the President-or
the Governor makes delay, it should be the concern of the appropriate
Legislature to demand an explanation for such delayed presentation, apart
from anything else
If the Legislature slumbers, the entire machinery of
Parliamentary government will succumb not to speak of any particular
object of scrutiny by the Legislature.
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