It is necessary to discuss the balance between objectivity and discretions.
The general principle in administration is that the decisions must be objective and fair and impartial. However, there is no such language as 100% objectivity. The last leg of any decision becomes a subjective matter. This is where the allowance for discretion is needed in administration. Even the discretion has to be exercised in terms of set principles. These set principles will tend to reduce the element of discretion in favour of the element of objectivity. However, the reduction to the zero level is neither possible nor desirable as that may lead to mechanical decision. Therefore, certain norms are prescribed in applying discretion. In the instant case, the objective is achieved by preparing the panel of eligible candidates taking the consultation from the UPSC and then preparing a list of limited number of eligible candidates. Such a procedure is necessary when selecting a person for the topmost level such as Chief Secretary or the DG & IG, whereas, no limit has yet been set-up to suggest how many persons should be kept in a select list for the IAS (Chief Secretary, it has been generally observed that the list for DG & IG selection may consist upto 4 names. Hence, the process is complete and a select list is prepared, a discretion has to be allowed to the Chief Minister who is the Head of the government, who has the responsibility of running a smooth administration. A few topmost officials such as Chief Secreary, DG&IG, etc., have to be of his choice within the limits of the select list is prepared by applying the norms of objectivity. These conditions have not been complied with. We would not have said anything more about the discretion used by the Chief Minister, had it not been for the fact that to us it appers that not all information was kept on record while preparing the select panel.
We have recently also witnessed the case of Shri K.T. Thomas, being appointed as CVC and this appointment came under a criticism by the Hon'ble Supreme Court because the administrative machinery, which processed his file for appointment did not bring on record that his involvement in one of his earlier positions in the import/export of palm oil for the Government of Kerala was under vigilance scanner. It appears that something similar has happened here and the conduct of Respondent No.3 as commented by the Sadasivam Commission has not been kept on record before the UPSC.