High Court held that their PG degrees from an open university could not be equated to a regular degree

The Madras High Court Bench in Madurai dismissed a case filed by three Forest Department employees who sought promotion to the post of forester on the basis of postgraduate degrees obtained by them from an Open University without completing undergraduation in the regular stream.

Justice R. Sudhakar dismissed a joint writ petition filed by them in 2009 and accepted the contention of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), made in a counter affidavit, that a postgraduate degree obtained through the Open University system could not be equated to a regular PG degree.

The PCCF said the issue of considering those who had obtained PG degrees from open universities on a par with regular degree-holders for the purpose of public employment had come up before the Madras High Court through writ petitions filed in 2004 and 2006 itself

The High Court in 2008 held that PG degrees from open universities could not be equated with regular degrees. The judgment was also upheld by the Supreme Court in 2009.

Then, the State government referred the matter to the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission’s equivalence committee.

The committee concurred with the court rulings and hence a Government Order was passed on August 18, 2010 clarifying that those who possessed PG degrees from open universities without obtaining a basic degree would not be considered as PG degree holders.

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