State Govt. Jobs on Different Age Criteria for Domicile Candidates is Unconstitutional

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March 12, 2018

Case name: Mukesh Kumar Umar v. State of Madhya Pradesh

Date of Judgement: March 07, 2018

In the case, the issue that arose before the Division Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court was whether a different age criteria for the candidates from outside the State and the candidates who are domicile of State of Madhya Pradesh in relation to employment under the State is discriminatory and in violation of Articles 16(1), 16(2)  and Article 15 of the Constitution of India?

The challenge in the present petition pertained to the condition of different age limits for the candidates of domicile of State of Madhya Pradesh and candidates from outside Madhya Pradesh in the matter of appointment to the post of Assistant Professor in the Department of Higher Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh.

The High Court in the case held the concept of different age criteria for the candidates to be discriminatory in nature and made the following observations in the case:

  • That there cannot be any different age limit only on the basis of place of birth or place of residence. Reliance was placed by the Court on Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of Pradeep Jain and others vs. Union of India and others[1].
  • The High Court to arrive at its decision, also referred to the Constitutional mandate with regard to prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and for providing equality of opportunity in matters of public employment as enshrined under Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India respectively.
  • The Court opined that even Article 15 of the Constitution of India prohibits the State from discriminating any citizen on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. However, in terms of Sub-clause (3) of Article 15, the State is permitted to make special provision for women and children. Article 15 prohibits the State from creating any discrimination against any citizen inter alia on the ground of place of birth whereas Article 16 provides equality of opportunity for all citizens in the matters of employment under the State. Therefore, both, under Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution of the action of the State in granting relaxation in age only to the candidates who are domicile of the State of Madhya Pradesh is contrary to the Constitutional mandate.
  • That the Constitutional mandate of providing equality of opportunity and no discrimination on the basis of place of residence or place of birth cannot be permitted to be given a go-bye only for the reason that the State was not able to conclude the employment process in the State for large number of years.
  • No citizen can be given preference nor can any discrimination be practiced against him on the ground only of residence.

In view of the aforesaid findings, the High Court was of the view that the condition in the advertisement for relaxation of the age up to the age of 40 years for the candidates who were domicile of the State of Madhya Pradesh was clearly unconstitutional.

The entire case can be accessed here.

 

[1] (1984) 3 SCC 654