Rashid Paul

Candidates with qualification higher than prescribed maximum not eligible to apply for Class-IV posts: HC

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Srinagar: Candidates with higher qualification are not eligible to apply for the Class-IV posts when the advertisement notice has already prescribed the minimum and maximum qualification, the High Court has said.

Upholding the criterion of minimum and maximum qualification for the Class-IV posts as matric and 10+2 respectively, the court ruled that the measure is neither irrational nor unreasonable or arbitrary.

Dismissing two appeals by some aggrieved candidates against a single bench verdict of 2018, Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Sanjay Dhar said the candidates with higher qualification are not eligible to apply when the advertisement notice prescribes minimum and maximum qualification.

“In the case of appointments to Class-IV posts, higher qualification than the prescribed 10+2 may not be suitable for many reasons,” the court said, adding, “a highly qualified person may not be in a position to discharge the menial work which is required to be done by a Class-IV employee”.

The court said if such highly qualified candidates are allowed to compete with candidates with lower qualification, as prescribed, it is obvious that they will score above them and would get selected to the detriment of the candidates possessing the requisite eligibility.

Candidates of higher qualification, the court said if selected, would always be looking for a better job and as soon as they are selected in some other better discipline, they would leave the Class-IV post rendering the entire selection as useless, besides forcing the employer to get those posts re-advertised and re-filled.

“The appointment to the Class-IV posts has to be made on the basis of the suitability vis-à-vis the qualification held by the person and the nature of the job, for which purpose the decision of the employer is final, provided it is not arbitrary in nature,” the two judge bench said.

They said the suitability and the qualifications for any post have to be laid down by the employer and the same are not liable to be interfered with judicially, until and unless the policy decision in that regard is found to be irrational or arbitrary.

The bench said laying down of the criteria of the minimum and the maximum qualification for the Class-IV post as matric and 10+2, respectively, is neither irrational, unreasonable nor arbitrary.

Viewed in this context, the division bench said court the judgment of the single judge “appears to be in accordance with legal position governing the subject.”

The bench said the legal position is clear that any higher qualification than the one prescribed for a particular post may not be a suitable qualification.  The employer, in its wisdom, is justified in excluding candidates with higher qualification from the ambit of selection, it said.

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