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Lalitha Bai v/s Public Service Commission

    O.P. Nos. 10316/98 & 14634 of 1999

    Decided On, 23 July 1999

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE MR. A.R. LAKSHMANAN & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S. SANKARASUBBAN

    Asok M. Cherian & K.S. Mohamed Hashim For Petitioners O.V. Radhakrishnan & Government Pleader (P.K. Ravikrishnan) For Respondents



Judgment Text

A.R. Lakshmanan, Ag. C.J.


Heard Mr. Asok M. Cherian for the petitioner and Mr. O.V. Radhakrishnan for the Public Service Commission. Both the petitions were filed by the very same petitioner - Lalitha Bhai. O.P. 10316/1998 was filed to call for the records leading to Ext. P3 and quash the same and for a mandamus directing the District Officer, Kerala Public Service Commission to permit the petitioner to appear in the written test scheduled to 6.6.1998 for recruitment for the post of H.S.A. (Hindi) in Education Department. The case of the petitioner, in short, is that she passed SSLC in March 1980 and she successfully undergone the courses in Hindi, viz., Rashtra Bhasha, Praveshika, Visharath Poorvartha, Visharath Uthrartha and Praveen Uthrartha conducted by Dhakshina Bharath Hindi Prachar Sabha, Madras. Thereafter she passed in 1st Division the training course in Hindi Siksha Snathak in 1990 conducted by the Dhakshina Bharath Hindi Prachar Sabha, Madras. She applied for the post of H.S. A (Hindi)

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as per the notification of the Kerala Public Service Commission for Kottayam District. The petitioner was having qualification and was eligible for being recruited for the post. According to the petitioner, the Government had earlier not recognised the degree 'Siksha Snathak' as the requisite qualification for appointment as H.S. A. (Hindi). But the Government had issued a notification on 14.5.1998 recognising "Siksha Snathak' also as an alternate qualification for the post of Upper Primary/High School teacher in Government Schools. A true copy of the said order is marked as Ext. P2. But, disregarding Ext. P2 order of the Government, the Public Service Commission issued a memo to the petitioner stating that she does not possess the requisite qualification for the post of H.S. A. Hindi and the application filed by the petitioner was also rejected. The petitioner thereupon submitted a representation to the Public Service Commission pointing out Ext. P2 Government Order and also requesting that the petitioner be given the hall ticket for the examination scheduled on 6.6.1998. Since the Public Service Commission has not considered the representation submitted by the petitioner and she was not given the hall ticket for the examination, the Writ Petition was filed to quash Ext. P3 and for the consequential prayer as already referred to in this paragraph supra. Ext. P3 is the order rejecting the application filed by the petitioner on the ground that she has not the requisite qualification.2. During the pendency of the above Writ Petition, the petitioner also filed O.P. 14634/1999 to issue a writ of mandamus directing the first respondent to admit the petitioner, who is K.449 in Part VIII Nadar category in the supplementary list of Ext. P5 list, for the interview scheduled to be held for the candidate in that list. By Order dated 16.6.1999, the petitioner was directed to be interviewed provisionally nd included in the list.3. When both the petitions were posted before J.B. Koshy, J., the learned judge has made an order of Reference, which runs thus: "Petitioner in both the cases passed Hindi Siksha Snathak. By Ext. P2 Government recognised 'Acharya' title of Kerala Hindi Prachar Sabhaand 'Siksha Snathak' title of Dhakshina Bharath Hindi Prachar Sabha as alternate training qualification for appointment to the post of Upper Primary/High School Teacher in Government Schools. But, petitioner's case was rejected on the ground that at the time of notification, Ext. P2 Government Order recognising 'Siksha Snathak' as equivalent training was not in force. According to the petitioner, it is recognised for aided schools earlier itself. It is only a recognition of the existing diploma. A contrary view is seen expressed by another learned judge in O.P. No. 16087/98-M. In the circumstances of the case, I am of the view that the matter should be considered by a Division Bench of this Court ".That is how the matter has come before this Bench.4. We heard the counsel appearing on either side. The counsel for the petitioner reiterated the statements made in the Writ Petitions and submitted that the order of rejection of the application is liable to be set aside. The learned counsel for the Public Service Commission submitted that the qualifications prescribed for the selection of the above post were: "(A) Academic qualification:A Degree in Hindi conferred or recognised by the Universities in Kerala,or A title of Oriental Learning in Hindi awarded or recognised by the Universities in Kerala,orPraveen of the Dhakshina Bharath Hindi Prachar Sabha, Madras with a pass in SSLC Examination conducted by the Commissioner for Government Examinations, Kerala or its equivalent,(B) Training qualifications;B.Ed./B.T./L.T. conferred or recognised by the Universities in Kerala,orDiploma or Certificate of Language Teachers Training in Hindi issued by the Commissioner for Government of Examinations, Kerala,orDiploma in Hindi Teachers Training issued by the Commissioner for Government of Examinations, Kerala,orA pass in any one of the following examinations of Kendriya Hindi Sikshan Mandal, Agra, namely;(1) Hindi Sikshan Praveen(2) Hindi Sikshan Parangath(3) Hindi Sikshan Nishnat. Note: 1. Persons who have successfully undergone Pracharak Diploma of the Dhakshina Bharath Hindi Prachar S abha upto and including the academic year 1969-70 shall be considered to possess the requisite training qualification.2. Persons who have successfully undergone the course in Hindi Teachers Diploma Course of the Regional Hindi Training College, Gandhigram, Madurai during the academic year 1967-68 or prior to that year shall be considered to possess the requisite training qualification.3. Persons who have successfully undergone the Acharya Course of Kerala Hindi Prachar Sabha upto and including the academic year 1969-70 shall be considered to possess the requisite training qualification.4. Post Graduate in Hindi are also eligible to apply provided they have B .Ed./B .T./L.T.".It was submitted that the application of the petitioner was rejected on the ground that the training qualification possessed by her, viz., 'Siksha Snathak' of Dhakshina Bharath Hindi Prachar Sabha, Madras was not acceptable as per the terms of the notification and Ext. P3 rejection memo was issued to the petitioner. It is also submitted that at the time of notification inviting applications 'Siksha Snathak' was not recognised as an alternate/ equivalent qualification to any of the training qualifications prescribed for the post and so it was not included in the notification. According to the Public Service Commission, it was recognised as an alternate qualification only on 14.5.1998 and, therefore, this qualification can be considered for selections notified only after 14.5.1998 and as such the request of the petitioner was not granted by the Commission. The Standing Counsel for the Commission in support of his contention cited the decision of K.S.Radhakrishnan,J. in O.P. No. 16087/1998 dated 29.9.1998. That writ petition was filed by one G. Kumari Usha and Noorjahan challenging the rejection of their application on the ground that 'Acharya Certificate' produced by them cannot be treated as an equivalent training qualification, since it was obtained subsequent to S.1969-70. The learned judge has also referred to the earlier decisions of this Court and held that once a qualification is prescribed in the notification, the Public Service Commission, the Government and the applicants are bound by the said qualification and that itis not legally permissible to search for equivalent qualification when a qualification is prescribed in the notification. The learned judge has also referred to an identical case, which was considered by this Court in 1998 (2) KLT Inmin Mohandas InminMohandas v. State of Kerala, wherein the learned judge held as follows: "It is for the rule making authority or for the Legislature to regulate the method of recruitment and prescribe qualification. Court cannot enter into nor undertake the responsibility in that behalf. It is for the expert body or the State Government to undertake that responsibility. Court cannot substitute its wisdom to that matter of the State Government or expert body like P.S.C.. When the rule making authority as well as the Public Service Commission prescribes a particular qualification for a post, in their wisdom, it is not for the applicant or the Court to insist that some other qualification is better suited for the post".A Division Bench of this Court comprising of K.G. Balakrishnan & B.N. Patnaik (JJ) in more or less identical case - O.P. 8316/1993 - was also of the view that since the petitioners in the Original Petition were not qualified as on the date of the notification in question, their applications have been rightly rejected by the Public Service Commission.5. In the instant case, it is not in dispute that at the time of publication of the notification in question 'Siksha Snathak' was not recognised as an alternate/ equivalent qualification to any of the training qualifications prescribed for the post. It is also not in dispute that the said qualification was recognised as an alternate qualification only on 14.5.1998 and, therefore, the said qualification can be considered for selection notified only after 14.5.1998. As such we are of the opinion that the order impugned in O.P. 10316/1998 cannot be assailed and that the request of the petitioner was rightly not granted by the Public Service Commission. The reference is answered accordingly and the Original Petition No. 10316/1998 is, therefore, dismissed as devoid of any force of merit. In view of the dismissal of O.P. 10316/1998, no further orders are necessary in O.P. 14634/1999 and it is accordingly dismissed as infructuous. No costs.
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