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Age limit- As per the advertisement upper age limit fixed was 27 years- upper age limit for appointment of teacher in elementary school by state Govt. Is 37 years -Held fixing of upper age limit as 27 years is arbitrary.

 

Age limit- As per the advertisement upper age limit fixed was 27 years- upper age limit for appointment of teacher in elementary school by state Govt. Is 37 years- Held fixing of upper age limit as 27 years is arbitrary.

 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA

AT CHANDIGARH

Wazir Kaur wife of Shri Gurcharan Singh, resident of Mohalla Bari Sarkar, Anandpur Sahib,

District Rupnagar.                                                                                                    … Petitioner

Versus

The State of Punjab through Secretary to Government of Punjab,Education Department, Civil Secretariat, Punjab, Sector 1,Chandigarh, and others.                                                                          …. Respondents

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE K. KANNAN
—-

1. Whether reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the
judgment ? Yes.
2. To be referred to the reporters or not ? Yes.
3. Whether the judgment should be reported in the digest ? Yes.
—-
K.Kannan, J. (Oral)

1.Written statement filed on behalf of respondent No.3 is  taken on record.

2.The petitioner, who sought admission for diploma in elementary education, was fettered in seeking admission              by existence of a rule stipulated by the State that the upper age limit for admission shall be 27 years. The                        petitioner was 28 years and,therefore, would challenge the prescription of age limit as arbitrary on 3 grounds:            (i) no other State has any such limitation for diploma in elementary education; (ii) for purposes of getting a job             in any private elementary school, there is no age limit; (iii) in respect of Government elementary schools, the               maximum age prescribed is 38years. If a person could take a job at 38 years, there is no reason to prevent a                   person from qualifying to the necessary diploma for any age less than the maximum age prescribed.

3.The State in its reply denies the information that the other States do not prescribe any minimum age. It is                    asserted that the ceiling of age is a policy matter which cannot be interfered with. It is submitted by the counsel,          which is without pleading, that normally a student completes +2 at 17 years and, therefore, the age limit at 27               years is reasonable.

4.I will not find any of the objections in defence raised by the respondent to be tenable. The policy matter that can fall within the exclusive domain of the State is not to be interfered with normally, but if a challenge is brought that the policy is arbitrary and violative of Article 14, then the State is bound to disclose the basis for such a policy. The counsel for the petitioner submits that there is no age limit even for passing +2 and the admission criterion relating to age must have some rational basis which will have nexus to the objective sought to be achieved. Any person who does a diploma course in elementary education expects to be appointed as a teacher in an elementary school. If the upper age limit for consideration for appointment by the State is 38 years, there is simply no justification for getting the upper age limit for admission at 27 years. Any limit of age that will allow for completion of the course before 38 years when such a person seeks for consideration for a job ought to be sufficient and would provide an adequate basis. The upper age limit as prescribed is arbitrary and I uphold the contention of the petitioner and quash the impugned specification regarding age qualification. I direct the petitioner’s candidature to be considered for admission in the 3rd respondent-College if he is otherwise qualified.

5.The writ petition is allowed on the above terms.

 

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