JOSEPH Vs. MAHATMA GANDHI UNIVERSITY
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
MAHATMA GANDHI UNIVERSITY
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(1.)PETITIONER applied for admission to part-time LL. B. course (evening) in Government Law College, ernakulam. PETITIONER is employed as a Cashier in the Electrical Section of the kerala State Electricity Board. PETITIONER was included in the provisional list and on inquiry he came to know that he is not being considered eligible to get admission against 30% of the seats reserved for State Government employees. According to the petitioner, he is also a State Government employee and thus entitled to get reservation under Clause 8 of Ext. P3 prospectus. PETITIONER seeks for a declaration that he is entitled to get admission to part-time LL. B. course (evening) in the seats reserved for State Government employees.
(2.)I heard the petitioner's counsel and the Government pleader. The main contention urged by the petitioner's counsel is that the petitioner, who is an employee of the Kerala State Electricity Board, is to be considered as a State Government employee for the purpose of reservation under clause 8 of Ext. P3 prospectus. Counsel for the petitioner elaborately argued that the Kerala State Electricity Board is a statutory body fully controlled by the Government and the employees of the Board are discharging governmental functions and, therefore, its employees are to be treated as State Government employees. It is true that the Government has got deep and pervasive control over the Kerala State Electricity Board. The employees are also paid under a separate budgetary allocation and the functions carried out by the K. S. E. B. are governmental in nature. But all these criteria would make K. S. E. B. an authority under Art. 12 of the Constitution. It cannot be said that the employees of the k. S. E. B. are State Government employees. The Kerala State Electricity Board is a statutory Board discharging certain specified functions. In the matter of policy decisions of the Board the State Government can give directions to the board and the Board is bound to carry out such directions. The employees of the board are appointed by the Board itself. Now the power of appointment of some of the employees of the Board vests with the Kerala Public Service Commission as per the provisions of Kerala Public Service Commission (Additional functions) (Consultation) Rules, 1966. The employees of the K. S. E. B. are also not governed by the Kerala Service Rules, but the provisions of the Kerala service Rules are made applicable by separate executive order. The conditions of service of the K. S. E. B. employees are also separate and distinct and they are not governed by the general conditions of service, which are applicable to state Government employees. Therefore, the contention of the petitioner that the employees of the K. S. E. B. are State Government employees cannot be accepted.
My attention was drawn to a decision of the Supreme court in Deepak Sibal v. Punjab University (AIR 1989 SC 903 ). There the question that arose for consideration was whether the admission to 3 year LL. B. course could be exclusively reserved to regular employees of government/semi-Government institutions/ affiliated colleges/ Statutory corporations and Government Companies. The appellant therein was an Accountant in a private company. He contended that the exclusion of the employees of the private establishments will not satisfy the test of Art. 14 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court accepted that contention and held that Art. 14 forbids class legislation and there was no reasonable classification and the exclusion of the employees of the private establishments did not satisfy intelligible differentia that distinguishes the employees of Govemment/semi-Government institutions from the employees of private establishments. It is important to note that in this case, the petitioner does not challenge clause 8 of the prospectus. His only contention is that he too is a State Government employee entitled to get reservation under the above clause.
The counsel forme petitioner relied on a decision reported in Satheesan versus State of Kerala (1990 (2) KLT 705 ). That is a case where the employees of the Municipal Common Service was held to be State government employees. The facts of that case are not strictly applicable to the facts of this case as the question involved in this case is whether the petitioner, who is an employee of the K. S. E. B. is a State Government employee. A Division Bench of this Court considered the question as to whether the employees of the K. S. R. T. C. and Greater Cochin Development Authority are State government employees for the purpose of admission to 30% quota of the part-time ll. B. course. The Division Bench held that the employees of GCDA and KSRTC are not State Government employees. The KSRTC is a Corporation working under the governmental control. For the same reasons, the employees of the Kerala State electricity Board also cannot be considered as State Government employees. The petitioner is not entitled to get admission against 30% seats reserved for state Government employees. Original Petition is without any merit and it is dismissed. . .
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