The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a writ petition seeking to quash an order of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies of May this year so far as it related to certain conditions for appointment to 1,234 posts of Assistant in District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs).

In the petition, the Tamil Nadu State Primary Agricultural Cooperative Bank, All Employees Union, represented by its general secretary, C. Kuppusamy, said originally whenever vacancies arose in the DCCBs, 50 per cent were filled through employees working in primary agricultural cooperative credit societies. Also, there was no maximum age limit fixed for the employees. The procedure was followed till 2009.

This year, the authorities called for candidates from the employees of the petitioner-union by fixing the age limit of 40 for SC and ST and 37 for BC and MBC and 35 for others. Another condition was that the petitioner-union employees should sit for a written test and appear for interview. The experience of the employees had been ignored. In this connection, the Registrar of Cooperative Societies issued an order dated May 27 this year.

Because of the new conditions, almost all the employees were disqualified from applying for the Assistant post. The authorities called for candidates from the Employment Exchange.

In the counter filed through the Additional Advocate-General, P. Wilson, the Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies (Statutory and Training), K. Pramila, said instructions for conducting the examination had been issued based on a G.O. of last year and as per Rule 149 (2) of the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Societies Rules. Fixing the age limit was correct and as per law.

In his order, Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar said it was evident that the petitioner, which was a State-wide body, had earlier challenged the order of the Registrar and the petition was dismissed as withdrawn with liberty to file a fresh writ petition by the affected individual members.

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