Disqualification for having more than 2 children

Supreme Court: In a civil appeal against the Rajasthan High Court’s decision, whereby the appellant’s challenge against rejection of his candidature for the post of police constable on grounds of having more than two children was refused to interfere with, the three Judge Bench of Surya Kant, Dipankar Datta, K.V. Viswanathan, JJ. dismissed the appeal and upheld the Rajasthan High Court’s decision.

In the matter at hand, the appellant was an ex-serviceman, who retired from defence services on 31-01-2017. The appellant applied for the post of Police Constable in Rajasthan Police on 25-05-2018, but his candidature was rejected in light of Rule 24(4) of the Rajasthan Police Subordinate Service Rules, 1989, on the ground that he had more than two children after 01-06-2002. He stood disqualified for public employment under the State, as per the Rajasthan Various Service (Amendment) Rules, 2001 (`the 2001 Rules’), which, inter alia, provides that “no candidate shall be eligible for appointment to the service who has more than two children on or after 01-06-2002.”

The appellant challenged the rejection of his candidature before the Division Bench of the High Court. The High Court vide impugned Judgment, rejected his claim on the premise that the Rule, under which the appellant was disqualified was within the realm of policy and hence, did not warrant any interference.

The Court relied on Javed v. State of Haryana, (2003) 8 SCC 369, and said that a similar provision, which was introduced as an eligibility condition to contest Panchayat elections, was challenged and it was upheld by the Court. The Court noted that it was laid down that the classification, which disqualifies candidates for having more than two living children, was non-discriminatory and intra-vires to the Constitution, since the objective behind the provision was to promote family planning.

Hence, the Court upheld the High Court’s decision and said that there were no grounds to interfere with the impugned decision. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed.

[Ramji Lal Jat v. State of Rajasthan, 2024 SCC OnLine SC 217, Order Dated: 20-02-2024]

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