The Delhi High Court had passed this judgment dated March 17, 2020. The grievance of the appellants have been 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 violative of Article 14 & 16 of the Constitution.
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 the pendency of the Signature Not Verified Digitally against signed by appeal. The controversy was raised in reference to the amendment 10% out of 50% quota reserved for direct recruitment to the post of Sub-Inspectors (Executive)-Male. The appellant was not eligible to participate in the selection process, which was initiated by the respondents pursuant to an advertisement for the post of Sub-Inspector (Executive), but few of them were allowed to participate under the interim order of the Tribunal.
50% percent of vacancies in the rank of Sub- Inspector (Executive) shall be filled by direct recruitment and 50% by promotion and out of 50% direct quota, 10% of the post shall be filled by competitive tests of Constables, Head Constable, and Ast. Sub- Inspectors with minimum 5 years of service, which shall not be more than 35 years (40 years of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes candidates) of age.
The four significant changes are referred to as under: -
(i) The words “Limited Departmental Competitive Test” (LDCE) for 10% reserved posts for departmental candidates under the 50% direct recruitment quota were deleted.
(ii) It was assured that in addition to the educational qualifications and physical standards, “other requirements” are also required for direct recruits and shall be fulfilled by the serving personnel.
(iii) The years of service for serving personnel is reduced from 5 years to 3 years.
(iv) Upper age limit for appointment of Sub-Inspector (Executive) was reduced from 40 years to 30 years for general candidates, for OBC from 43 years to 33 years, and from 45 years to 35 years for SC/ST candidates.
The aforesaid Corrigendum stood excluded from consideration as they were in disputedly above the upper age limit from participating in the selection process. This came to be challenged by the appellants by the filing of an Original Application before the Central Administrative Tribunal (hereinafter being referred to as the “Tribunal”). The appellants were allowed to participate in the process of selection, and the Tribunal was not open to making the amendments, and it was unconstitutional.
The respondents extracted that the increase in the age of young officers will lead to the storage at the level of Sub-Inspectors as explained by Delhi Police. The Committee is of the opinion there seems to be no need to modify the direction of the Govt. relating to SC/ST, Ex-servicemen, outstanding sportsmen, departmental candidates. The issue of ground for amending the recruitment rules was examined by the Committee that it is not only the alignment of examination but also to have pan India representation in the Delhi Police force.
The order of the Tribunal came to be challenged by the appellants before the Division Bench of the High Court. The learned Counsel submits that when the serving personnel is recruited to the post of ASI, and by the time person crosses the age of 30 years, it will an indirect way be the elimination of serving Head Constable/ASI and a violation of Art 14 and 16 of the Constitution. The eligibility qualification for promotion of service is to be considered by the appropriate Authority and not the Courts. If any age limit is prescribed, it is a matter of competence and should be examined by Tribunal and confirmed by the High Court. The Government or the appointing Authority has been given the power to prescribe such age limits or to prescribe the extent to which any relaxation can be given. Prescription of such limit cannot ordinarily be termed as unreasonable.
The settled proposition of law is that candidate has a right to be considered under the existing rules, which implies the ‘rule in force.’ There was a violation of Art 14 and 16 of the Constitution. Consequently, the appeal was dismissed.