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The Supreme Court on 28th August affirmed the Allahabad HC ruling in Dr. Professor Rajendra Chaudhary & Anr v State of Uttar Pradesh that the Reservation Act cannot be pressed into service where the number of posts in the cadre are less than five.

An advertisement was issued on 21.12.2015 by the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission seeking applications for appointment by direct recruitment to 47 substantive vacant posts of Professors was challenged in the High Court on grounds that no posts were declared reserved for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Class candidates.

Uttar Pradesh State Medical Colleges’ Teachers Services (Second Amendment) Rules, 2005 (for short, ‘Service Rules’) prescribe reservation where vacancy is not less than 5 seats. High Court dismissed the petitions.

The two points under consideration in these Appeals before Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta were:

  1. a) Whether the advertisement impugned in the Writ Petition is violative of Uttar Pradesh Public Service (Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes) Act, 1994 (for short “the Reservation Act): and
  2. b) Whether enhancement of the upper age limit for appointment to the post of Professor by direct recruitment is contrary to the Uttar Pradesh Medical Colleges Teachers’ Service (Second Amendment) Rules, 2005.

Supreme Court relied on the government’s contention that the proviso to Rule 6 of the Service Rules makes it clear “that the total number of posts belonging to each speciality/ department in Category ‘A’ shall be deemed as a single unit.” Each unit had only four vacancies that were to be filled up. And even in General Medicine and General Surgery, where there were five posts, only two were to be filled up in view of an interim order passed by the Allahabad High Court.

Court held that, “The Appellants’ contention that the cadre of Professors in all the departments put together has to be taken into account for providing reservations has rightly been rejected by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad.”

On the second question, i.e., enhancement of upper age limit, Court found that no prejudice is caused to the Petitioners by the increase in the maximum age.

It was stated on behalf of the Government that no direct recruitment to the posts of Professors in Government Medical Colleges could be made for 12 years prior to 2015 since eligible and competent persons were not coming forward to participate in the selections. To ensure larger participation for selection to the posts of Professors, the Government supplemented the Rules and in no way supplanted them.

Court held that the Government Order dated 06.02.2015 – enhancing the upper age limit for appointment of direct recruitment to the post of Professor from 45 years to 65 years – which has not been challenged by the Appellants for which reason they cannot make any grievance about the same.

–India Legal Bureau

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