MP HC Reinstates 2 Judicial Officers Expelled For Having Over 2 Kids

MP HC Reinstates 2 Judicial Officers Expelled For Having Over 2 Kids

It was mandatory for the high court to seek information about the number of children in the application form itself, the court said.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently reinstated two judicial officers for the reason that they have more than two children, though the application form never asked them about it.

The court observed that the eligibility of the candidate has to be satisfied before a candidate is permitted to appear in the examination and to undergo the selection process.

Manoj Kumar and Ashraf Ali, who had cleared the selection process, were appointed in the cadre of higher judicial officers in April last year. After their appointment, information was sought from them with regard to the details of number of children they have. Their services were terminated after they stated that they have more than two children, one of whom is born after 26th January, 2001. They challenged the termination before the high court.

It was contended before the high court that there was no clause in the application form seeking information about the number of children; therefore, disqualification in terms of Clause 3(a) is inferential disqualification and such clause, which is not clear and categorical, cannot be extended to them.

The bench of the Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice HP Singh observed that it was mandatory for the high court to seek information about the number of children in the application form itself. The eligibility of the candidate has to be satisfied before a candidate is permitted to appear in the examination and to undergo the selection process. Since the High Court has not sought the information in terms of 1961 Rules in the prescribed application form, it is not open to the High Court to declare a candidate ineligible for the reason that the candidate has more than two children as such information was not elucidated in the application form, the bench observed.

The court, however, observed that such clause of disqualification for having more than two living children has a larger public purpose with the aim to control population in the country, therefore, such clause cannot be deemed to be illegal violating any of the provisions of the Constitution.