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Saturday, April 20, 2024

SC upholds disqualification of Candidates with more than two children for Constable Post


The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by a candidate who was denied a job for the post of a constable as he had more than two children.

The Court said it will not interfere with the Rajasthan Service Rules which disqualified a candidate from public employment on these grounds.

A bench comprising Justice Surya Kant, Justice Dipankar Datta, and Justice K V Vishwanathan dismissed a civil appeal filed by Ramji Lal Jat against the Rajasthan High Court’s judgment of October 12, 2022, which had held that the subject rule fell within the realm of policy and did not warrant any interference.

The Rajasthan Service Rules provided that “no candidate shall be eligible for appointment to the service who has more than two children on or after June 01, 2002.”

The bench declined to interfere with the Rajasthan Service Rules which disqualified a candidate from public employment for having more than two children. The court held that such a rule is non-discriminatory for its objective to promote family planning.

The case pertains to an ex-serviceman, who retired from defence services on January 31, 2017. He applied for the post of Police Constable in the Rajasthan Police on May 25, 2018, but his candidature was rejected in light of Rule 24(4) of the Rajasthan Police Subordinate Service Rules, 1989, on the ground that he had more than two children after June 01, 2002.

The court after hearing both sides said that earlier also in an order similar provision, which was introduced as an eligibility criterion to contest Panchayat elections, was upheld by the high court in ‘Javed and others Vs State of Haryana and others’ (2003) in which the top court had also said, “Assuming the practice of having more wives than one or procreating more children than one is a practice followed by any community or group of people the same can be regulated or prohibited by legislation in the interest of public order, morality, and health or by any law providing for social welfare and reform which the legislation does.

If anyone chooses to have more living children than two, he is free to do so under the law as it stands now but then he should pay a little price and that is depriving himself of holding an office in Panchayat in the State of Haryana. There is nothing illegal about it and certainly no unconstitutionality attaches to it”.

“The Top court held that the classification, which disqualifies candidates for having more than two living children, was non-discriminatory and intra-vires the Constitution since the objective behind the provision was to promote family planning,” the bench said.

The petitioner contended that there are 109 sets of Statutory Service Rules, in which eligibility conditions had been introduced but these rules do not apply to the absorption of ex-servicemen and the condition of not having more than two children is not specified.

The Court however ruled that the petitioner may be right in his arguments but we do not find any ground to interfere with the view taken by the high court. The recruitment to the post of Constable in the Rajasthan Police and such recruitment is governed by the Rajasthan Police Subordinate Service Rules, 1989. These 1989 Rules have been specifically enlisted at Serial No 104 of the Schedule appended to the 2001 Rules,” the bench said.

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