Friday, Dec 26, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
The Bench, comprising the Vice-Chairman, Sathi Nair, and the judicial member, A.S. Sanghvi, gave the direction on two applications filed by head constables, who contented that the introduction of the new rules was not justified, as the vacancies in question arose even before the new norms came into being.
Prior to amending the rules, the post of sub-inspector was available for regular assistant sub-inspectors, who completed three years of continuous service. In case of head constables, the candidates should have completed six years of continuous service.
But the administration attempted to fill up vacancies in 2001 by holding a departmental examination. The petitioners challenged the recruitment notification on the ground that such a procedure had not been countenanced anywhere in the recruitment rules. "When the recruitment rules were silent, the administration could not have introduced the element of departmental test, parade, etc., as a precondition for promotion to the post of sub-inspector."
In its earlier order dated April 10, 2001 the tribunal said that if at all the administration wanted to make the recruitment rules stricter, it should modify the rules without affecting the equal opportunities for all. Following this, the Territorial Administration introduced the impugned modifications in the recruitment rules through a notification on April 26, 2002.
Counsel for the petitioners, G. Djearany, submitted that as the SI posts pertained to 2001, when the impugned notification was not in operation, the administration could not resort to departmental test.
Concurring with the views, the Bench said, "As the vacancies had arisen prior to the amendment of the recruitment rules, the vacancies are required to be filled up by the rules which were in existence at the relevant point of time. Under these circumstances, the insistence of the administration that it would fill up the vacancies by holding departmental test as per the amended rules cannot be sustained."
It then directed the administration to consider the application of the petitioners only on the basis of the unamended rules. It, however, made it clear that as for vacancies, which arose after the amended rules came into being, the administration could fill up the vacancies as per the amended rules.
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