Shimla, March 21
The HP High Court has quashed the notification issued by the state government imposing the condition of residence for public employment in tribal areas against Class-III and Class-IV posts. Justice Sandeep Sharma passed the order on a batch of petitions challenging the notification issued on August 16, 2004.
Article 16(2) clearly provides that no citizen shall, on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of any employment or office under the state.
The petitioners had contended that the notification was in violation of the provisions of Articles 16 of the Constitution. The state did not dispute that at the time of the interview, the petitioners were having the prescribed educational qualification for being appointed as drawing teachers. However, in the light of the said notification, they were not considered for appointment as Class-III and Class-IV posts were to be filled from among local residents of Kinnaur district only.
Rejecting the state’s contention, the court said, “Article 16(2) clearly provides that no citizen shall, on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of any employment or office under the state. Article 16(3), if read in its entirety, clearly provides that only Parliament is competent to make any law prescribing requirement as to residence within that state or UT prior to such employment or appointment.”
It observed that “the notification clearly suggests that these are administrative instructions, which admittedly cannot override the constitutional provisions”.
The court directed the state to offer the appointment to the petitioners against the posts in question from the due date, within eight weeks.
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