(Arising out of SLP (C ) Nos. 17661-17662/05)
Dr. Arijit Pasayat, J.
- Leave granted.
Challenge in these appeals is to the
orders passed by a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
One of them relates to the orders passed in the writ petition while
other one relates to the order passed in a review application.
The basic question raised in the
writ petition filed by the respondents was whether the authorities were
justified in holding that they did not possess the requisite
qualification for appointment under the Punjab State Class IV Service
Rules, 1963 (in short the 'Rules'). The State of Punjab had taken over
Chanan Devi Memorial girl High School, Saleem Tabri, Ludhiana under
certain conditions so far as the employment of the members of staff
concerned. The Director Public Instructions, Punjab wrote to the
District Education Officer, Chandigarh to ensure that all the members of
the staff fulfil the requisite qualification for recruitment to the
relevant post. Taking exception to the view expressed by the District
Education officer that the writ petitioners who are the respondents in
these appeals did not possess requisite qualification. Writ petition was
filed stating that said view is not sustainable in law. Purportedly
acting on a basis of a concession made by learned Additional Advocate
General, who was appearing in the writ petition, the writ petition was
allowed. The learned Additional Advocate General, Punjab purportedly
conceded that the rules were not applicable to the case of the writ
petitioner. Subsequently a review petition was filed stating that the
concession was uncalled for because the letter of the Director, Public
Instructions, Punjab dated 17.11.1995 addressed to the District
Education officer, Chandigarh clearly stipulated the terms for
continuance in service. The High Court dismissed the review application
on the ground that there was no prescription in the said letter which
would indicate applicability of the rules.
In support of the appeals, learned
counsel for the appellants submitted that the view of the High Court is
clearly untenable. The Director, Public Instructions had clearly
stipulated in the said letter that it was the duty of the District
Education Officer to ensure that all the members of the staff of the
taken over educational institute fulfil the requisite qualification for
recruitment to the relevant posts. With reference to the rules it is
pointed out that certain educational qualifications have been prescribed
which the respondents did not possess.
In response learned counsel for the
respondents submitted that more than a decade has since elapsed and it
would not be proper to interfere with the order of the High Court which
was based initially on concession and subsequently on a finding recorded
that there was no prescription in the letter dated 17.11.1995 relating
to educational qualifications.
At this juncture it is necessary to
take note of the relevant provisions in the Rules which read as follows:
" Rule 5 : No person shall be
recruited to the Service by direct appointment unless he
(a) produces certificates of character from two responsible persons, not
being his relatives, who are well acquainted with him in private life;
(b) is not less than 16 years and
not more than 35 years of age on the date of appointment;
(c) has not more than one wife
living and in the case of a woman, is not married to a person already
having a living wife:
Provided that the Government may, if satisfied that there are special
grounds for doing so, exempt any person from the operation of this
(d) possesses the requisite
knowledge of the regional languages and of English as may be prescribed
by the Government from time to time:
Provided that the appointing authority may, if it is of the opinion that
the candidate is otherwise fit to discharge his duties satisfactorily,
relax any of the qualification prescribed under this clause."
Similarly in the letter of Director
of Public Instructions it was clearly stated as follows:
" ..it is the duty of the District Education Officer to see that all of
them fulfil the requisite qualification for recruitment in the relevant
The effect of the afore-stated rule
and the indication in the letter has not been considered by the High
Court. In the circumstances, we set aside the orders of the High Court
and remit the matter to it for fresh consideration. We make it clear
that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits. The High Court is
requested to dispose of the writ petition as early as practicable.
The appeals are allowed to the
aforesaid extent without any order as to costs.
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