Gujarat High Court: In a Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, wherein the issuance of writ of mandamus was sought to direct the Gujarat Subordinate Services Selection Board (‘respondent’) to permit the petitioner to apply for the post of Gujarati Stenographer even after crossing the prescribed age limit, the Single Judge Bench of J.C. Doshi, J. dismissed the petition as the petitioner was not able to establish that she possessed the prescribed age limit on the date of the advertisement or any relaxation rule which permits her to participate in the selection process.
The petitioner sought issuance of the Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order, direction to direct the respondent to allow the petitioner to apply for the post of Gujarati Stenographer and to participate in the examination, pursuant to the Advertisement dated 16-06-2022 issued by the respondent for recruitment of the Gujarati Stenographer. The present petitioner was a female candidate in the general category. In Condition No. 4.1, the minimum age limit for the candidate to appear in the examination was 20 years and the maximum was 40 years. In a Circular issued by the Government of Gujarat, 1 year relaxation was given and it was considered to be 41 years. According to the Condition No. 4.2, the relaxation to the female candidate in general category was 5 years with the cap of maximum 45 years of age. . Subsequently, the Court passed an Order dated 27-12-2022, permitting the petitioner to appear in the examination, subject to the condition that such an appearance in the examination shall not create any equity in favour of the petitioner. The Court had further clarified that the respondent shall not declare/ publish the result of the present petitioner and the result of the petitioner shall be tendered in a sealed cover.
The Court noted that the petitioner was born on 28-10-1975 and had crossed the age limit of 46 years as on 16-06-2022. The Court also noted the Condition No. 4.2 wherein the relaxation to the female candidate in general category was given 5 years with the cap of maximum 45 years of age. The Court said that admittedly, the petitioner was beyond 45 years of age on the date of the advertisement i.e., 16-06-2022.
The Court said that the recruitment of Gujarati Stenographer is governed by the Gujarat Civil Services Classification and Recruitment (General) Rules, 1967. The condition for the prescribed age for the qualification is given in Rule 8(2)(b). The Court perused the Rule and said that the maximum relaxation which is prescribed is 5 years which was already given in the advertisement for recruitment. Therefore, the Court said that the right to participate in the selection process is subject to the prescribed eligibility condition. The right is guaranteed only if the candidate fulfills the requisite eligibility criteria stated in the said Rule on the stipulated date. The Court further said that the proposition of the eligibility of any candidate should be considered from the date of the advertisement for the post or as per the permission of the Rules and not by any other condition. Thus, the Court said that lacking of eligibility cannot permit the petitioner to expect that she may be permitted to enter into the selection process and further may be permitted to sit in the examination or apply for the examination.
Thus, the Court said that the petitioner was not able to establish that she possessed the prescribed age limit on the date of the advertisement or any relaxation rule which permitted her to participate in the selection process and further to participate in the examination, therefore, the petitioner cannot be granted such relief.
[Anuradha Vikramsinh Rajput v. Gujarat Subordinate Services Selection Board, 2023 SCC OnLine Guj 1578, Order Dated: 19-05-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the Petitioner: Advocate MJ Mehta, Advocate Nandish Shah, Advocate Subhash J Mehta.