Reservation For Legal Heirs Of Freedom Fighters: Court Can’t Direct Govt In Matters Reservation Policy: Madras HC [Read Judgment]

Reservation For Legal Heirs Of Freedom Fighters: Court Can’t Direct Govt In Matters Reservation Policy: Madras HC [Read Judgment]

Dismissing a petition, the Madras High Court refused to pass orders mandating the government to provide reservation for legal heirs of freedom fighters and held that the court cannot interfere with the wisdom of government or give directions for framing recruitment rules in a particular manner.

The division bench comprising Justice Nooty, Ramamohana Rao and Justice SS Sundar upheld the decision of the single judge bench that had dismissed the petition earlier and stated ‘the court exercising the power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot out step its limit by unwanted judicial activism by directing the Government to legislate on the basis of announcement of a policy of the State.’

The petitioner, granddaughter of freedom fighter the late Subramania Pillai, pleaded that the notification for the recruitment of assistant professors in Tamil Nadu Collegiate Educational Service be quashed for its alleged contravention of Government policy that accords priority and fixes quota for legal heirs and Tamil scholars. She prayed that the authorities be directed to implement and follow the policy in recruitment for the aforementioned post and she be considered and selected for the same. The petitioner’s counsel argued that the failure to provide reservation for legal heirs of freedom fighters in the matter of recruitment of assistant professors would amount to discrimination.

The court dismissed the contentions as ‘wholly misconceived’ and stated that the policy note of the Finance Department for years 2013-14 and 2014-15, on which the counsel has relied upon, indicates that priority is given for the legal heirs of the freedom fighters when their names are sponsored by the employment exchanges to the government departments and undertakings. The policy does not speak of recruitment through the Teacher Recruitment Board or other nodal agencies.

It was further held that the policy is only a course of action and cannot be binding in nature, unless adopted through legislation. Any executive action cannot be tested for its validity on the ground that it is contrary to a policy announced by the government, the judgment stated.

The court contended that reservation for any class of persons in government service cannot be uniform. It was stated that deciding the manner of reservation and identification of posts for reserved category is within the exclusive domain of the government.

“We are also of the view that reservation in public employment is a matter of informed choice within the exclusive domain of the government and the court cannot interfere with the wisdom of government or give directions for framing recruitment rules in a particular manner,” stated the court and dismissed the petition as wholly unsustainable.

Read the Judgment here.



This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.