Educational Qualifications Prescribed For Public Posts Are Not Relaxable: Kerala HC [Read Judgment]

Educational Qualifications Prescribed For Public Posts Are Not Relaxable: Kerala HC [Read Judgment]

“The qualifications are not relaxable unless it is clearly stated in the notification inviting applications lest it amounts to fraud on public in the matter of appointment.”

The Kerala High Court has observed that educational qualifications prescribed for public posts are not relaxable unless it is clearly stated in the notification inviting applications.

The bench comprising of Justice V. Chitambaresh and Justice R. Narayana Pisharadi, while setting aside an order of Central Administrative Tribunal, observed that such relaxations amounts to fraud on public in the matter of appointment.

As the matter pertains to a post in Indian Space Research Organisation, the judgment begins by quoting Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai about the necessity of technological advancement. The bench said: "We can be second to none only if we do not compromise on educational qualifications of those involved in space research and mere experience sans qualification may prove to be deficient for the progress."

Bijoy had applied to the post of Assistant as an Ex-serviceman on the premise that he should be considered as a Graduate. He contended that he is eligible to be considered under a relaxed standard of selection to make up the deficiency of First Class in Graduation since there are no sufficient numbers of Ex-servicemen candidates. The Tribunal, relying on the graduation certificate issue to him by the Indian Army, held that there can be relaxation of the educational qualification of First Class in Graduation in this case.

The bench, while considering the petition filed by Union of India, challenging the said order, observed: "Mere declaration by the Government or the Indian Army that the respondent is a First Class Graduate would not suffice in the absence of a declaration by any University. There is neither proof that the respondent had studied Graduation in any University nor evidence to show that he had secured a First Class as declared by the University."

Holding that the tribunal erred in relaxing the essential educational qualification under the pretext of relaxed standard of selection, the bench further added: "The concept of 'relaxed standard of selection' can at best relate to lowering of the benchmark for written test and the interview without sacrificing the minimum educational qualification prescribed for the post. The qualifications are not relaxable unless it is clearly stated in the notification inviting applications lest it amounts to fraud on public in the matter of appointment. There would have been many who had not applied for the post because they did not possess the qualifications advertised."

Read the Judgment Here