Bilaspur: The Chhattisgarh High Court has quashed a clause in an advertisement given by the state government providing "100 per cent reservation" to women for recruitment to posts of assistant professors and demonstrators in nursing colleges, terming it "unconstitutional".
A division bench of Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Narendra Kumar Vyas also struck down a provision in Schedule III of the Chhattisgarh Medical Education (Gazetted) Service Recruitment Rules, 2013, which stated that only women are eligible for direct recruitment to the posts of demonstrators and assistant professors in government nursing colleges.
The bench on Thursday gave the order after hearing petitions filed by Abhay Kumar Kispotta, Dr Ajay Tripathi, Alyus Xalxo and others challenging the advertisement, their lawyers Ghanshyam Kahsyap and Nelson Panna said on Saturday.
The Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission (CPSC) had published the advertisement on December 8, 2021, to fill posts of assistant professors (nursing) and demonstrators for different subjects, and as per clause 5 of the advertisement, only women were eligible for recruitment and appointment, they said.
The petitioners approached the high court against the advertisement and challenged the legality and constitutional validity of Note-2 of the Medical Education (Gazetted) Service Recruitment Rules, 2013, under which only women are eligible for direct recruitment to the posts of demonstrators and assistant professors in nursing colleges, they said.
They also challenged clause 5 of the advertisement for direct recruitment in the service, by which only women are made eligible, the counsels added.
The petitioners argued that they had the requisite educational qualification prescribed in the advertisement for the vacant posts, they said.
They contended that as per the Rules of 2013, 50 per cent posts of demonstrators and 75 per cent posts of assistant professors for nursing colleges are to be filled up by direct recruitment.
At least 50 per cent posts of demonstrators are to be filled by promotion from staff nurse/nursing sister/assistant/ nursing superintendent, while 25 per cent posts of assistant professors are to be filled from demonstrators. Thus, the reservation for women has been granted to the extent of 100 per cent for direct recruitment, which violates constitutional provisions, the lawyers said.
The counsels further argued that there is no discrimination between male and female candidates while pursuing nursing courses and both are allowed to take admission.
By virtue of the above stated Rules of 2013 and advertisement, the right of the petitioners to get employment is being violated, they said.
During the hearing, the state's counsel Gagan Tiwari submitted that the Constitution itself provides for special provisions in case of women and children as per Article 15(3) of the Constitution of India.
Articles 15(1) and 16(1) of the Constitution of India also provide certain prohibition in respect of a specific area of the state activities i.e. employment under the state, he said.
The classification between men and women for certain posts was permissible and such classification cannot be called arbitrary or unjustified, he said.
Separate colleges or schools for girls are justifiable, and as such, rules providing 100 per cent appointment of women for the posts of demonstrator and assistant professor in the government nursing colleges is justified, he added.
After hearing both sides, the court observed, "100 per cent reservation for female candidates for appointment on the posts of demonstrator and assistant professor is unconstitutional, violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India, and therefore, Note-2 in the Schedule-III of the Rules of 2013 as well as Clause-5 of the advertisement are adjudged illegal and hence, quashed."
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