Subodh Kumar and Ors. Vs. Commissioner of Police and Ors. - (Supreme Court) (17 Mar 2020)
A candidate has a right to be considered under 'rule in force', there is no absolute application that vacancies are to be filled invariably by law existing on date, when vacancy arises.
The Appellants are the Constables/Head Constables (Male) serving in Delhi Police and are members of the Delhi Police (Appointment & Recruitment) Rules, 1980. Some of them later got promoted to the post of Assistant Sub-Inspector during pendency of the appeal.
The grievance of the Appellants is that, the amendments which has been made under Rule 7 and Rule 27A of the Rules, 1980 vide notification dated 13th March, 2013 have deprived and made them ineligible to participate against 10% out of the 50% quota reserved for direct recruitment to be filled up from the serving personnel (constables, head constables and ASI) is arbitrary and violative of Article 14 & 16 of the Constitution of India, 1950.
The controversy was raised in reference to the amendment made under Rule 7 and Rule 27A of the Rules, 1980 against 10% out of 50% quota reserved for direct recruitment to the post of Sub-Inspectors (Executive)-Male. Indisputedly, either of the Appellant was not eligible to participate in the selection process which was initiated by the Respondents pursuant to an advertisement dated 16th March, 2013 followed with Corrigendum dated 9th April, 2013 held for the post of Sub-Inspector (Executive) but few of them were permitted to participate under the interim order of the Tribunal.
It is a settled law that, prescribing of any age limit for a given post, as also deciding the extent to which any relaxation can be given, if an age limit is prescribed, are essentially the matters of policy. It is always open for the Government or the appointing authority while framing rules, to prescribe such age limits or to prescribe the extent to which any relaxation can be given. Prescription of such limit or the extent of relaxation to be given, cannot ordinarily be termed as arbitrary or unreasonable. Just because the amendment under notification dated 13th March, 2013 has curtailed the chances of the Appellants to take part in the selection process, it cannot lead to an inference that the Rule is arbitrary or unreasonable as prayed for.
It is equally a settled proposition of law that a candidate has a right to be considered under the existing rules, which implies the 'rule in force' on the date the consideration took place. There is no Rule of universal or absolute application that vacancies are to be filled invariably by the law existing on the date, when the vacancy arises. The requirement of filling up earlier year vacancies under the old Rules is interlinked with the candidate having acquired a right to be considered for promotion.
The four significant changes which have been made under the amendment notification dated 13th March, 2013 envisage that while giving due opportunity to the in-service candidates for participating against 10% out of the 50% quota reserved for direct recruitment to compete in the self-same selection process on the same standards and yardsticks except giving some advantage in relaxation of upper age limit for a fair consideration in the process of selection and scaling the upper age limit indeed may reduce the number of serving personnel holding the post of Constable/Head Constable/ASI in competing with the candidates in the open selection. But that in itself cannot be regarded as unconstitutional or arbitrary, it may not be construed to be a fast track promotion to the serving personnel reserving right of in-service personnel for their promotion against 50% quota separately reserved under the scheme of Rules, 1980. There is no reason to interfere with the impugned judgment. The appeal is accordingly dismissed.
Tags : PROMOTION PERMISSIBLE AGE REDUCTION