High Court cannot be an expert body for the purpose of forming an opinion on equivalence of degrees; Madras High Court upheld the Government Order

Madras High Court

   

Madras High Court: S. M Subramaniam, J. upheld the government order that stated, the Degree of B.Sc (Biochemistry) awarded by all Universities in the State recognized by the University Grants Commission is not equivalent to the Degree of B.Sc in Chemistry for the purpose of employment in the public service. The Court refused to interfere with the opinion of the Equivalence Committee, Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department constituted by the rules in force because when the Committee has made certain recommendations and such recommendations were accepted by the Government and an order was issued, then there is no reason to exercise the powers of judicial review under Article 226 to undo the exercise done by the expert body.

The writ petition was filed to quash a Government Order No. 24 dated 04-02-2011 issued by Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department which declared that degree qualification of B.Sc (Biochemistry) will not be equivalent to B.Sc in Chemistry. This was done in accordance with a report submitted by the Equivalence Committee. This order effected the qualification required for selection to the post of B.T. Assistantcandidates with a degree of B.Sc Chemistry can only apply for the post.

The petitioner are the candidates who studied B.Sc Biochemistry and they contended that they have studied chemistry subject and they have attended classes on par with the candidates who have studied B.Sc in Chemistry.

The Court noted that the impugned order was passed on the recommendation of the Equivalence Committee which is a competent authority to evaluate the syllabus and other aspects of the degrees. The Equivalence Committee examined the syllabus and equivalence between both the degrees, this recommendation was accepted by the Government of Madras.

Thus, the Court, while dismissing the petition, stated that judicial review can be exercised only if any unconstitutionalty or violation of statutory rules are established, and it cannot be exercised to undo a work done by a competent authority.

[S.K. Sujatha v. The State of Tamil Nadu,W.P. No. 23805 of 2014 , decided on 06-07-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

A.R. Suresh, Advocate, for the Petitioner;

M. Bindran for R1, R2 and R4 and C. Kathiravan for R4, Advocates, for the Respondent.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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