Decided on April 19,1974

THOMAS Appellant


- (1.) THE prayers in this petition are: (a) declare Rule 13aa of the Kerala State and Subordinate Services Rules to be illegal, ultra vires and unconstitutional ; (b) issue a writ of mandamus compelling the State to forbear from giving effect to Ex. P 2, and (c) issue such other writs, orders and directions as or are deemed just and proper on the fact and circumstances of the case.
(2.) THIS petition was filed on 15th March, 1972 and the order sought to be quashed, Ext. P2, is dated 13th January, 1972. During the pendency of this writ application an order Ext. P 6 was passed on the 11th January, 1974 extending the period granted by Ext. P 2 order to members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to pass the tests for promotion from the category of lower division clerks to that of upper division clerks from 13th January, 1974 "to cover a period during which two tests are held by the Public Service Commission and the results thereof published. " By an affidavit dated 27th January, 1974 Ext. P 6 order as well as the orders mentioned in paragraph 4 of that affidavit and Ext. P 7 order dated 31st October, 1972 making further promotions are also sought to be set aside.
(3.) THE petitioner is a lower division clerk working in the Registration Department of the State. For becoming eligible to be promoted as upper division clerks on the basis of seniority, the lower division clerks in the department will have to pass (1) Account Test (Lower), (2) Kerala Registration Test and (3) Test in the Manual of Office Procedure. The petitioner had passed all the tests by 2nd November, 1971. In view of certain concessions that were given to the members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, they Were able to obtain promotions earlier than the petitioner though they had not passed the tests referred to. The Government appears to have given concession after concession to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. These are detailed in paragraph 8 of the affidavit in support of the petition and may usefully be extracted: 8. As mentioned earlier, members of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes had already been enjoying exemption from some of the tests for a long time past. Thus, even before the formation of Kerala State, the T. C. Government had issued orders on 14th June, 1956 directing that the standard of qualification should be lower for the members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, than compared to others, in the matter of examinations relating to the various tests By G. O. dated 27th June, 1958, it was further directed that the period of exemption from passing tests be extended by 2 years, in the case of such members. Again, as per G. O. dated 2nd January, 1961, the period of exemption to Scheduled Castes/tribes was further extended to 3 years. By G. O. dated 14th January, 1963, a unified Account Test (Lower) and Test in Office Procedure were introduced, replacing the old tests; and as this was treated a new test, all persons who were formerly in T. C. or Madras service got two years' time to pass the test; and members of the Scheduled Castes/tribes got extra time, as per the orders earlier mentioned. True copy of the G. O. dated 14th January, 1963, is produced herewith and marked as Exhibit P3. Before this time expired, a circular was issued on 9th February, 1968 granting seven years time (from 14th January, 1963) to members of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes to pass the unified tests. This period was due to expire on Nth January, 1970; but on 13th January, 1970, G. O. MS. 12/70/pd. was issued extending the time for another year, i. e. , upto 14th January, 1971. Again, on 11th January, 1971, another G. O. was issued extending the period by still another year. True copy of this G. O. is produced herewith and marked as Exhibit P4. The present rule (Exhibit P1) and the notification (Exhibit P2) now grant time for yet another 2 years. ;

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