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Suresh Kumar Sharma Vs. State and Ors. - (High Court of Jammu and Kashmir) (04 Jun 2019)

Fixing of any eligibility criteria is within the exclusive domain of Legislature



Petitioner applied for the posts of Librarian which were notified vide Advertisement Notification by Respondent No. 2. While notifying these posts, the age limit prescribed in various categories was notified in terms of Cabinet Decision No. 98/07/2014 dated 3rd June, 2014 and Government Order No. 586-GAD of 2014 dated 3rd June, 2014.

Since in terms of the said Notification, the age of the in-service candidates was prescribed as 40 years as the Petitioner was over the minimum eligible prescribed age for the said post by two years four months and eight days, as such, his candidature was rejected vide notice issued by Respondent No. 2. Petitioner seeks quashing of notice dated 5th February, 2018 to the extent that, the Petitioner was declared ineligible and over-aged for the post of Librarian in the Higher Education Department.

Admittedly, the Petitioner did not have the requisite eligibility to be considered for the post of Librarian as advertised in terms of the Advertisement Notification. Since the age of the candidate in terms of the said Advertisement Notification was to be considered on 1st January, 2016. Since the Petitioner was over the cut-off age by more than two years, therefore, he was ineligible to be considered for the said post.

It is settled position that for fixing any eligibility criteria, it falls within the exclusive domain of Legislature. It is solely within the jurisdiction of the recruiting authority to prescribe the appropriate qualification/eligibility and to fix the upper age limit or age criteria in the matter of appointment/promotion.

Therefore, in terms of the Advertisement Notification, only the candidate, who possessed the maximum and minimum eligibility criteria of age as 1st January, 2016, was considered for the said post. Since the Respondents/authorities had fixed the cut-off age and the petitioner did not possess the eligibility criteria, therefore, there is no merit in present petition, which is, accordingly, dismissed.


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