Decided on January 18,1995

RANI GEORGE Respondents


- (1.)The question referred to the Full Bench is whether the decision of the Division Bench reported in Public Service Commission v. Dr. Kunjamma Alex - 1981 KLT 24 has binding force and whether it requires reconsideration. The Division Bench in the judgment while following the judgment of the Single Judge in the decision reported in Dr. Kunjamma Alex v. Public Service Commission - 1980 KLT 18 held that when a Syrian Catholic girl marries a Latin Catholic, a change of community takes place and that she is entitled to the benefits of a Latin Catholic as one of the backward community under the State and Subordinate Services Rules, 1958 (Kerala). Since the questions involved in this case are of great public importance, the matter was referred to the Full Bench.
(2.)The facts of the case are as follows: One Valsamma Paul filed O.P. No. 1629/88 for a writ of mandamus directing the Cochin University to appoint her as a lecturer by treating her as a candidate belonging to the Latin Catholic Community. According to the petitioner, though she was a Syrian Catholic, she got married to a Latin Catholic and as per the decision reported in 1980 KLT 18 she is entitled to the benefits of reservation as a Latin Catholic, which is one of the backward communities in Kerala and declared as such.
(3.)O.P: No. 9450/91 was filed by one Rani George against Cochin University praying for a writ of mandamus directing the University to appoint her in the place of Valsamma Paul, as a Lecturer in Law. According to the petitioner in O.P. No. 9450/91 she belongs to Latin Catholic Community. Two posts of Lecturers were notified by the University, of which the first post was set apart for the open merit quota and the second post was reserved for the members of the backward community. The third respondent Valsamma Paul though belonged to the forward community as she is a Syrian Christian, she was considered as a candidate belonging to backward community and was selected and appointed in the post reserved for backward community. The petitioner also contended that on an earlier occasion in the year 1988 when Valsamma Paul applied for a lecturer post, she was not considered as a candidate belonging to backward community since according to the University the decision in 1981 KLT 24 was stayed by the Supreme Court. However, in the subsequent vacancy the University had chosen Mrs. Valsamma Paul and appointed her in the post. The writ petition was filed challenging the same.

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