STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: A Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal held that above 10+ 2 will not be eligible for class-IV posts.While upholding condition No. 6 (iii) of Advertisement notice No. 01 of 2020 dated 26.06.2020 whereby Advertisement prescribed criteria for direct recruitment to Class-IV post as ‘Minimum Matric and maximum 10+2’ issued by JKSSB, a Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal comprising Judicial Member Rakesh Sagar Jain and Administrative Member Anand Mathur observed that in the present case, prescribing eligibility criteria/educational qualification that a graduate candidate shall not be eligible and candidate must have passed 12th standard is justified and as observed hereinabove, is a conscious decision taken by Bank.High Court has clearly erred in directing appellant Bank to allow respondent -original writ petitioner to discharge his duties as a peon, though he as such was not eligible as per eligibility criteria/educational qualification mentioned in advertisement.CAT further observed that Government by way of Special Recruitment Rules and SRO 99 of 2008, under which statutory law has prescribed a standard of minimum and maximum educational criteria which finds mention in the instant Advertisement notice, notified that no candidate having qualification other than prescribed shall be eligible for Class-IV posts. In view of settled law, looking to the nature of the post and administrative exigencies, it is for the Government (employer) to settle qualifications for a post and not for the Tribunal to consider and dislodge the criteria prescribed by employer (Government), unless it is violative of law.CAT further observed that it is categorically held by the Apex Court that it is the prerogative of the concerned department to prescribe the qualifications and the Courts cannot enter the arena of judging the efficacy of the eligibility criteria. Therefore, in exercise of its jurisdiction, the prescription of maximum 10 + 2 criteria made by the Government for appointment to the post in question cannot be expanded by this Tribunal to include candidates having higher qualification than 12 + 2. CAT further observed that such matters, as observed above, are in the exclusive domain of the employer or the Government being a policy matter, the scope of which cannot be enlarged by this Tribunal.The applicants seek quashing of condition No. 6 (iii) of Advertisement notice No. 01 of 2020 dated 22.06.2020. Advertisement prescribes the criteria for direct recruitment to said post as ‘Minimum Matric and Maximum 10 + 2’. As per Condition 6 (iii), any candidate having qualification other than prescribed shall not be eligible for Class IV posts. It is the case of applicants that their applications have been rejected ostensibly on the grounds that they have educational qualification which is higher than 10+2, so, the applicants seek quashing of aforementioned condition and to direct respondents to accept and consider their candidature for Class IV posts.In the objections, respondents have averred that prescribing the qualification, criteria etc for post lies within the exclusive domain of the State, since the criteria is fixed taking into consideration various inputs and judicial review must tread warily. On indent from GAD, the SSRB advertised recruitment for Class IV posts in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Appointment to Class-IV (Special Recruitment) Rules, 2020, notified vide S.O. 184 of 2020 dated 04.06.2020 (hereinafter referred to as ‘Special Recruitment Rules’). It has been further averred in the objections that the posts have been advertised in the Advertisement Notification No. 01 of 2020 dated 26.06.2020 strictly, as per, the eligibility conditions contained in the Special Recruitment Rules as well as SRO 99 of 2008 dated 07.04.2008 and keeping in view the man-power/job requirement of the Government and any candidate including the applicants who possess higher educational qualifications are rendered ineligible for competing against these posts. Therefore, OA being meritless deserves to be dismissed.CAT after hearing Sr Adv Altaf Haqani assisted by Adv Shakir Haqani for the petitioners whereas AAG Amit Gupta for respondents observed that counsel for applicant referred to opinion of Law Department and GAD which finds mention in Annexure A4 to the OA that ‘Department is advised that higher qualification can’t be a bar for applying for the post. Barring higher qualifications is illegal and a violation of constitutional rights. CAT observed that as far as the aforementioned opinion of law department and GAD is concerned, we find it difficult to accept the same in the instant case as it is incongruent with the judgement of the Apex Court. With these observations, CAT refused to quash condition No. 6 (iii) of Advertisement notice No. 01 of 2020 dated 26.06.2020 issued by JKSSB.
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