The tribunal said that even without amendment to the special rules, all candidates could get the benefit of the government decision to enhance the age limit for recruitment

The Kerala Administrative Tribunal has said there should be no discrimination in providing to job aspirants the benefit of the order the government issued on June 20, 2012, enhancing the upper age limit for applying for government jobs by one year.

Tribunal Chairman Justice K. Balakrishnan Nair and Member S. Pradeep Kumar Naidu made this observation in their order in an original application filed by K. Harikumar, 41, of Thiruvananthapuram, who wanted to apply for the post of Lecturer in English under the Department of Collegiate Education.

The Kerala Public Service Commission (KPSC) had invited applications for recruitment to this post in November 2012. Going by the age limit indicated in the recruitment notification, the petitioner was over aged, whereas he was eligible for being considered for recruitment as per the government order of June, 2012, which enhanced the age limit. The software for enabling candidates to submit their applications online was programmed as per this notification issued by the KPSC in November 2012, and therefore the applicant could not submit his application. The last date for submitting applications to the post is January 2, 2013.

The standing counsel for KPSC submitted to the tribunal that the software could not be modified to enable one candidate to apply. It was also submitted that since the government order of June 2012, was in the nature of an executive order containing a policy decision of the government and since formal amendments were yet to be carried out in the relevant special rules, the application of the petitioner could not be accepted. The method of appointment and qualifications to the post of Lecturer were covered by the special rules. Vazhuthacaud R. Narendran Nair, counsel for the petitioner, argued that KPSC’s stand amounted to discrimination.

Dismissing the KPSC’s argument, the tribunal said that even without amendment to the special rules, all candidates could get the benefit of the government decision to enhance the age limit for recruitment if the order was treated as one issued under Rule 39 of the Kerala State and Subordinate Service Rules (KS&SSR). “We think, such an interpretation should be given to Annexure A4 (the June 2012 government order),” the tribunal said.

The tribunal directed the KPSC to take a decision on why the government order enhancing age limit for recruitment could not be made applicable to those posts that were covered by the Special Rules also by treating the government order as one issued under Rule 39 of KS&SSR.