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Constitutional Provisions


» Constitutional Provisions

» Appointment and Term of Members

» Power to Make Regulations

» Functions of Public Service Commission

» Constituent Assembly Debate on 22 August, 1949 regarding setting up of State Public Service Commissions

Article 315. Constitutional Provisions on the Formation, Functions and Powers of Public Service Commissions for the Union and for the States:

  1. Subject to the provisions of this article, there shall be a Public Service Commission for the Union and a Public Service Commission for each State.
  2. Two or more States may agree that there shall be on Public Service Commission for that group of States, and if a resolution to that effect is passed by the House or; where there are two Houses, by each House of the Legislature of each of those States, Parliament may be law provide for the appointment of a Joint State Public Service Commission (referred to in this Chapter as Joint Commission) to serve the needs of those States.
  3. Any such law as aforesaid may contain such incidental and consequential provisions as may be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the purposes of the law.
  4. The Public Service Commission for the Union, if requested so to do by the Governor of a State may, with the approval of the President, agree to serve all or any of the needs of the State.
  5. Reference in this Constitution to the Union Public Service Commission or a State Public Service Commission shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as references to the Commission serving the needs of the Union or, as the case may be, the State as respects the particular matter in question.

Article 316. Appointment and term of Office of Members:

  1. The Chairman and other Members of a Public Service Commission shall be appointed, in the case of the Union Commission or a Joint Commission, by the President, and in the case of a State Commission, by the Governor of the State.

       Provided that as nearly as may be one-half of the members of every Public Service Commission shall be persons who at the dates of their respective appointments have held office for atleast ten years either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State, and in computing the said period of ten years any period before the commencement of this Constitution during which a person has held office under the Crown in India or under the Government of an Indian State shall be included.

    (1A) If the office of the Chairman of the Commission becomes vacant or if any such Chairman is by reason of absence or for any other reason unable to perform the duties of his office, those duties shall, until some person appointed under clause (1) to the vacant office has entered on the duties thereof or, as the case may be, until the Chairman has resumed his duties, be performed by such one of the other members of the Commission as the President, in the case of the Union Commission or a Joint Commission, and the Governor of the State in the case of a State Commission, may appoint for the purpose.
  2. A member of a Public Service Commission shall hold office for a term a six years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains, in the case of the Union Commission, the age of sixty - five years, and in the case of a State Commission or a Joint Commission, the age of Sixty - two years whichever is earlier:

    Provided that -

    1. a member of a Public Service Commission may, by writing under his hand addressed, in the case of the Union Commission or a Joint Commission, to the President, and in the case of a State Commission, to the Governor of the State, resign his office;
    2. a member of a Public Service Commission may be removed from his office in the manner provided in clause (1) or clause (3) article 317.

      (3) A person who holds office as member of a Public Service Commission shall, on the expiration of his term of office, be ineligible for re-appointment to that office.

Article 317. Removal and suspension of a member of a Public Service Commission:

  1. Subject to the provisions of clause (3), the Chairman or any other member of a Public Service Commission shall only be removed from his office by order of the President on the ground of misbehavior after the Supreme Court, on reference being made to it by the President, has, on inquiry held in accordance with the procedure prescribed in that behalf under article 145, reported that the Chairman or such other member, as the case may be, ought on any such ground to be removed.
  2. The President, in the case of the Union Commission or a Joint Commission, and the Governor in the case of a State Commission, may suspend from office of the Chairman or any other member of the Commission in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court under clause (1) until the President has passed orders on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court on such reference.
  3. Notwithstanding anything in clause (1), the President may by order remove from office the Chairman or any other member of a Public Service Commission if the Chairman or such other member, as the case may be,

    1. is adjudged an insolvent; or
    2. engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
    3. is, in the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.


  4. If the Chairman or any other member of a Public Service Commission is or becomes in any way concerned or interested in any contract or agreement, made by or on behalf of the Government of India or the Government of a State or participates in any way in the profit thereof or in any benefit or emolument arising therefrom otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company, he shall, for the purposes of clause (1), be deemed to be guilty of misbehavior.

Article 318. Power to make regulations as to conditions of service of members and staff of the Commission:

In the case of the Union Commission or a Joint Commission, the President and, in the case of the State Commission, the Governor of the State may be regulations -
  1. determine the number of members of the Commission and their conditions of service; and
  2. make provision with respect to the number of members of the staff of the Commission and their conditions of service;

Provided that the conditions of service of a member of a Public Service Commission shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.

Article 319. Prohibition as to the holding of offices by members of Commission on ceasing to be such members:

On ceasing to hold office-
  1. the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission shall be ineligible for further employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State.
  2. the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman or any other member of the Union Public Service Commission or as the Chairman of any other State Public Service Commission, but not for any other employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State.
  3. a member other than the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission or as the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission, but not for any other employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State.
  4. a member other than the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman or any other member of the Union Public Service Commission or as the Chairman of that or any other State Public Service Commission, but not for any other employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State.

Article 320. Functions of Public Service Commissions:

  1. It shall be the duty of the Union and the State Public Service Commission to conduct examinations for appointment to the services of the Union and the services of the State respectively.
  2. It shall also be the duty of the Union Public Service Commission, if requested by any two or more States so to do, to assist those States in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services for which candidates possessing special qualifications are required.
  3. The Union Public Service Commission or the State Public Service Commission, as the case may be, shall be consulted -

    1. on all matters relating to methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts;
    2. on the principles to be followed in making appointments to civil services and posts and in making promotions and transfers from one service to another and on the suitability of candidates for such appointments, promotions or transfers;
    3. on all disciplinary matters affecting a person serving under the Government of India or the Government of a State in a civil capacity, including memorials or petitions relating to such matters;
    4. on any claim by or in respect of a person who is serving or has served under the Government of India or the Government of a State or under the Crown in India or under the Government of an Indian State in a civil capacity, that any costs incurred by him in defending legal proceedings instituted against him in respect of acts done or purporting to be done in the execution of his duty should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India, or, as the case may be out of the Consolidated Fund of the State;
    5. on any claim for the award of a pension in respect of injuries sustained by a person while serving under the Government of India or the Government of a State or under the Crown in India or under the Government of an Indian State, in a civil capacity, and any question as to the amount of any such award; and it shall be the duty of a Public Service Commission to advise on any matter so referred to them and on any other matter which the President, or, as the case may be, the Governor of the State, may refer to them:
      Provided that the President as respects the all-India services and also as respects other services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union, and the Governor, as respects other services and posts in connection with the affairs of a State, may make regulations specifying the matters in which either generally, or in any particular class of case or in any particular circumstances, it shall not be necessary for a Public Service Commission to be consulted.

  4. Nothing in clause (3) shall require a Public Service Commission to be consulted as respects the manner in which any provision referred to in clause (4) of article 16 may be made or as respects the manner in which effect may be given to the provisions of article 335.
  5. All regulations made under the proviso to clause (3) by the President or the Governor of a State shall be laid for not less than fourteen days before each House of Parliament or the House or each House of the Legislature of the State, as the case may be, as soon as possible after they are made, and shall be subject to such modifications, whether by way of repeal or amendments, as both Houses of Parliament or the House or both Houses of the Legislature of the State may make during the session in which they are so laid.

Article 321. Power to extend functions of Public Service Commission:

An Act made by Parliament or, as the case may be, the Legislature of a State may provide for the exercise of additional functions by the Union Public Service Commission or the State Public Service Commission as respects the services of the Union or the State and also as respects the services of any local authority or other body corporate constituted by law or of any public institution.

Article 322. Expenses of Public Service Commissions:

The expenses of the Union or a State Public Service Commission, including any salaries, allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of the members or staff of the Commission, shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or, as the case may be, the Consolidated Fund of the State.

Article 323. Reports of Public Service Commissions:

  1. It shall be the duty of the Union Commission to present annually to the President a report as to the work done by the Commission and on receipt of such report the President shall cause a copy thereof together with a memorandum explaining, as respects the cases, if any, where the advice of the Commission was not accepted, the reasons for such non-acceptance to be laid before each House of Parliament.
  2. It shall be the duty of State Commission to present annually to the Governor of the State a report as to the work done by the Commission, and it shall be the duty of a Joint Commission to present annually to the Governor of each of the States the needs of which are served by the Joint Commission a report as to the work done by the Commission in relation to that State, and in either case the Governor, shall, on receipt of such report, cause a copy thereof together with a memorandum explaining, as respects the cases, if any, where the advice of the Commission was not accepted, the reasons for such non-acceptance to be laid befor the Legislature of the State.