Amend rules to avoid filling unskilled jobs with overqualified grads: Madras High Court

The single judge had allowed the petitions by holding that over-qualification cannot be a ground to cancel the appointment. He had also granted an age relaxation up to 40 years, instead of 35. 
Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. (File photo)
Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. (File photo)

MADURAI:  Observing that appointing overqualified candidates in unskilled jobs in the government sector would lead to discrimination and inequalities in recruitment and also lower the efficiency of public administration, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to amend the service rules for various posts under Tamil Nadu Basic Service, by prescribing minimum and maximum educational qualifications, at the earliest.

A bench comprising justices SM Subramaniam and R Kalaimathi passed the order on a batch of appeals filed by the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare department against an order passed by a single judge in February this year in certain petitions filed in connection with the recruitment of cooks for Adi Dravidar and Tribal Students Hostels in Tiruchy district.

The petitioners’ appointment to the post of ‘cook’ had been cancelled by the government because they were ‘overqualified’ and ‘overaged’. The single judge had allowed the petitions by holding that over-qualification cannot be a ground to cancel the appointment. He had also granted an age relaxation up to 40 years, instead of 35. 

“Concession of age limit of five years granted to SC/ST candidates for appointment cannot be further extended to another five years by the court based on the General Rules, as it is not applicable for appointment to the post of ‘Cook’ which comes under the Tamil Nadu Basic Service,” the bench observed and declared the appointment of overage candidates as ‘invalid’.

About the selection of overqualified candidates, the judges said while it is not their opinion that overqualified persons should not be appointed, in the process of giving an opportunity to overqualified graduates, the plight of lakhs of lesser qualified persons in our country must not be forgotten. 

However, as far as the petitioners (whose appointments were cancelled only on grounds of over-qualification) are concerned, the judges permitted them to join duty, since the recruitment notification did not specify any maximum qualification.

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