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Smt. Shakuntala Singh And Others v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - A No. 71689 of 2005 [2006] RD-AH 7481 (6 April 2006)


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Reserved Judgment

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.71689 of 2005

Smt. Shakuntala Singh and others Vs. State of U.P. and others


Hon'ble A.P. Sahi, J

The issue raised in this petition is that the petitioners are above the age of 40 years and, as such, they are being discriminated in the matters of appointment on the post of Shiksha Mitra as they have much more experience by way of length of service as Instructors or Supervisors under the non-formal education scheme and, therefore, their elimination on account of having become overage runs counter to the object of engaging an experienced teacher and hence the age blanket of 40 years prescribing the upper age limit for appointment should be read down to the aforesaid extent in favour of the petitioners. In essence the prayer is for doing away with the upper age limit of 40 years prescribed under the Government Order dated 1.7.2000 as amended by the Government Order dated 10.10.2005.

The Court had issued notices to the respondents whereupon the learned Standing Counsel has urged that the petitioners do not deserve any such relaxation and that the same being a matter of policy decision, cannot be interfered with under Article 226 of the Constitution of India which has been accepted by this Court as well in the decision of N.P. Dwivedi Vs. State of U.P., Writ Petition No. 72414 of 2005, decided on 25.11.2005.

For the purpose of regular appointment on the post of a teacher in a primary school, the provisions fixing the maximum age is provided for in Rule 6 of the U.P. Basic Education Teachers Service Rules, 1981. The upper age limit after being relaxed in favour of the reserved category is up to 37 years. There are only 2 exceptions to the same namely where a trained candidate could not get appointment due to non-availability of vacancy, then in that event the upper age limit would be 50 years and secondly that such candidates who have completed their BTC course in the year 1999, for them there shall be no upper age limit.

The aforesaid provisions are for regular appointments and not for temporary engagements like Shiksha Mitra which is an annual engagement compulsorily terminating on 31st May of every year. Learned counsel for the petitioner has failed to plead and establish as to how the petitioners have been discriminated and as to why the fixation of the upper age limit of 40 years can be treated to be arbitrary. The existence of a Rule for permanent engagement is in respect of a different class. The engagement of Shiksha Mitra is only to supplement the regular education system at the primary school level. It is only under a scheme formulated by the State Government and under a Government Order which engagement is not governed by the 1981 Rules. The qualifications of a Shiksha Mitra are different from that of a regular appointee. The basic difference is that a Shiksha Mitra need not be trained whereas for regular appointment training is compulsory and is an essential qualification. The argument, therefore, on behalf of the petitioners does not stand the test of discrimination as per Articles 14 & 16 of the Constitution of India.

It does not lie within the power of the Court to either increase or reduce the age limit prescribed for the purposes of employment, which is the wisdom of the rule making authority, unless and until it can be shown to be violative of either the provisions of the Rule itself or to be violative of fundamental rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution of India. The petitioners have, therefore, failed to make out any case for interference under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, as such, the petition is, accordingly, dismissed.

Dt. April 6, 2006



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