Classification on educational qualification for promotion permissible under law: HC

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh Wednesday ruled that classification based on educational qualification for promotion was permissible in law and does not offend Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India while dismissing pleas by SKIMS Soura Staff Nurses.

Some Staff Nurses had filed two writ petitions against the modification of recruitment rules made on October 24, 2014, by the government for various categories of staff working in the tertiary care institute.

The modification allows 100 percent filling up by promotion of Senior Staff Nurse possessing B Sc Nursing or M Sc Nursing with at least 5 and 2 years of service.

“The prescription of higher qualification like in the instant case, the qualification of B SC Nursing and MSc Nursing for promotion to the post of Senior Staff Nurse from the post of Staff Nurse is essential for the efficient discharge of duties of the higher post. Therefore, nothing prevents respondents to prescribe higher technical qualifications for promotion to the next higher post,” Justice Sanjeev Kumar said in the judgment dismissing the pleas.

The court rejected the argument that the petitioners having served the institute for about 27 years have entertained legitimate expectation that they would be promoted to the next higher post of senior Staff Nurse in course of time but because of the government order, they have been deprived of their right to promotion to the post of Senior Staff Nurse for all times to come.

“Admittedly, the Staff Nurse possessing qualification of three years Diploma in General Nursing and Staff Nurses possessing qualification of B.Sc Nursing, cannot be at par and therefore, are unequal because of their qualification,” the court said, adding,” It would, therefore, not be obligatory for respondents (authorities) to treat these two unequal as equals.”

Referring to the Supreme Court’s Constitutional Bench judgment— Ashok Kumar and Others versus State of J&K and Other, the court said that there should be no doubt left in the mind of anybody that the classification based on educational qualification for promotion is permissible in law and does not offend Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

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