“There is no requirement of three years experience after a person acquires Post-Graduation Degree,” the bench said.
The Supreme Court, interpreting the provisions of the Karnataka Health & Family Planning services (Collegiate Branch) Recruitment Rules, 1967, observed that three years’ experience as lecturer for promotion to the post of Assistant Professor (Ophthalmology) need not be after completion of the Post-Graduate Degree.
Order of promotion of a lecturer to the post of Assistant Professor (Ophthalmology) was challenged before the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal. The order of the tribunal that set aside the promotion was reversed by the high court holding that he had service as lecturer for more than nine years whereas the requisite teaching experience for promotion to the post of assistant professor is only three years. The High Court had mainly relied on the judgment of the apex court in AK Raghumani Singh & Ors vs Gopal Chandra Nath & Ors.
In this case, the qualification as per Rules, are as follows:
- Should be the holder of a degree in Medicine of any University established by law in India, &
- Should have any of the Post graduate qualifications in Ophthalmology specified in Annexure A or B
- Should have teaching experience in Ophthalmology of not less than three years in a post of Lecturer or Lecturer-cum-Registrar of higher post.
On appeal against the high court judgment, the bench of Justice SA Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao observed that a plain reading of the qualification prescribed for promotion as assistant professor would make it clear that three years teaching experience as lecturer along with a post-graduation degree is sufficient. “There is no requirement of three years experience after a person acquires Post-Graduation Degree,” the bench said.
Referring to qualifications prescribed for other posts like Reader and Associate Professor that prescribes three years after acquiring Post-Graduate qualification, the Bench also said: “A comparison of the qualifications prescribed for promotion to the posts of Associate Professor and Assistant Professor would make it clear that the prescription of experience after acquisition of Post-Graduate qualification required for promotion to the post of Associate Professor is not part of the qualifications required for promotion as Assistant Professor. A conscious omission of the condition of experience after acquiring Post-Graduate Degree in the qualifications for Assistant Professor supports our view that three years experience as a Lecturer is sufficient. It need not be after completion of Post-Graduation.”Read the Judgment Here