11 April 2023 7:45 AM GMT
About 25 years after two public service aspirants challenged the eligibility criteria for recruitment as Agricultural Officers through State Public Service Commission, the Gujarat High Court opened their sealed cover results on Thursday and found them successful.The merit was declared in December 1998 but results of the four petitioners were withheld.They had challenged the Deputy Director...
About 25 years after two public service aspirants challenged the eligibility criteria for recruitment as Agricultural Officers through State Public Service Commission, the Gujarat High Court opened their sealed cover results on Thursday and found them successful.
The merit was declared in December 1998 but results of the four petitioners were withheld.
They had challenged the Deputy Director of Agriculture and the District Agricultural Officer Recruitment Rules of 1987, saying that the upper age criteria for the posts was inconsistent with the academic and experience criteria.
While the upper age limit to the posts was 30 years, the petitioners argued that if the experience is one of the essential qualifications prescribed for the post, the number of years for which the experience is required to be added for the prescribing of the upper age limit, the minimum age which can be prescribed as the upper age limit could be 35 years.
Last week, the High Court was informed that the Rules were amended in the year 1999 raising the upper age limit to 35 years. The Court then opened petitioners' results and found that two of them had successfully undergone the selection process. Nonetheless, the matter was disposed stating that the issue has become 'academic' and in any case the petitioners are gainfully employed.
"Indisputably, the age of superannuation being 58 years, the petitioners would be attaining the age of superannuation even otherwise," Court added.
The petitioners were born in the year 1965. When they sought appear in the recruitment test for the post of Deputy Director Agriculture in 1997, their applications were declined citing the upper age limit of 30 years. Petitioners were aged 32 years by then.
The petitioners then approached the High Court which passed an interim order permitting them to take the examination.
Assistant Government Pleader Shruti Pathak justified the upper age limit prescribed under the Rules, 1987, stating that it was based on the past availability of candidates within the age of 30 years for recruitment in 1988. She also pointed out that the Rules, 1987 had been subsequently amended in 1999, raising the upper age limit to 35 years of age. She further mentioned that the petitioners had already been gainfully employed and engaged as Associate Professors, and the issue had become academic.
After considering the submissions made by the respective parties, the court said petitioners could not be granted relief due to the passage of time.
While disposing of the petition, the division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice A.J. Desai and Justice Biren Vaishnav held, "In light of the age of petitioner Nos.1 and 3 and particularly when all the petitioners have been gainfully engaged and employed, the question of the challenge to the Rules, 1987 having become academic need not to be gone into."
Case Title: KV VADODARIA & 3 other(s) Versus STATE OF GUJARAT R/SPECIAL CIVIL APPLICATION NO. 3509 of 1998
Case Citation: 2023 Livelaw (Guj) 69
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment