The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought response from the Centre and the Delhi Government upon a plea challenging the Delhi Government’s notification inviting applications for the post of Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.N Patel and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, while issuing notice in the plea filed by a practising advocate and BJP leader, slated the matter for next hearing on April 29, 2022.
The instant public interest litigation has been filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, alleging discrepancies in the Delhi Government’s notification inasmuch as there is a discrimination between upper age limit set out for internal candidates and that for external candidates, despite there being uniformity in tenure of the post and date of superannuation.
At the outset, the February 10 notification inviting applications for post of the Managing Director-DMRC states that the maximum age limit to apply for the post is 6o years for the Delhi Metro employees and 58 years for all external candidates,including employees of other metro companies such as Lucknow Metro, Chennai Metro, Maha Metro Nagpur, Mumbai Metro, Bangalore Metro and Kochi Metro.
The plea states that the notification is manifestly arbitrary, irrational, unfair and violates Articles 14, 16 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that only employees of Delhi Metro are considered as internal candidates, even though all other metro organizations are also administered under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in similar JV configuration with respective States as the Delhi Metro is with GNCTD. “These companies operate under the same Metro Acts and adopt similar guidelines of Schedule of Power, organizational structure and job responsibilities,” the plea claims.
The plea thus avers:
“State Government extended the tenure of the present Managing Director four times under the garb of non-availability of suitable candidate but suddenly reduced the maximum age for applicants from other Metro such as Lucknow Metro Chennai Metro etc where candidates with desired skills are working at senior positions and could be potential applicants. Hence, this notification is manifestly arbitrary, irrational, unfair and brazenly violates Articles 14, 16, 21.”
In this regard, the plea seeks declaration of a uniform age limit as eligibility criteria for a post which is not only extremely specialized and requires the most competent and experienced person but also an unreserved and sole post.