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A. Umarani vs Registrar, Cooperative ... on 28 July, 2004
Secretary, State Of Karnataka And ... vs Umadevi And Others on 10 April, 2006
Article 226 in The Constitution Of India 1949

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Madras High Court
Qualified Sanitary Inspector vs Secretary To Government Of Tamil ... on 10 November, 2008

BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

DATED : 10/11/2008

CORAM

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE S.NAGAMUTHU

W.P(MD)No.8045 of 2008

and M.P(MD).Nos.2,4&5 of 2008

Qualified Sanitary Inspector

Association (Registration No.135/1998),

Rep by its Secretary,

S.Robert Ramesh

Pithalaipatty,

Dindigul Taluk, Dindigul District.

... Petitioner

Vs

1.Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu,

Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department, Fort.St.George, Chennai 600 009.

2.The Commissioner,

Municipal Administration,

Ezhilagam, Annex,

Chepauk, Chennai 600 005.

3.The Director,

Public Health and Preventive Medicines,

No.359, Annasalai,

Chennai.

4.A.Arivazhagan

5.R.Athi Narayanan ... Respondents

[Respondents 4&5 impleaded as per Order dated 04.11.2008 in M.P.No.3 of 2008 in W.P.(MD).No.8045 of 2008]

PRAYER

Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus calling for the records pertaining to Order dated 12.08.2008 passed by the second respondent herein in his R.O.C.No.7703/08/J1 and quash the same as illegal as against the Provision of Tamil Nadu Municipal Public Health Regulations, 1970 and consequently directing the second respondent to draw the panel for the post with eligible persons having required qualification as per the regulations. !For Petitioner ... Mr.D.Selvaraj

^For Respondents1to3 ... Mrs.R.Anitha

Additional Government Pleader

For Respondents 4&5 ... Mr.S.Annamalai

:ORDER

*************

The petitioner is the Secretary of Qualified Sanitary Inspector's Association (Registration No.135/1998). In this Writ Petition, the petitioner association challenges the proceedings of the second respondent in R.O.C.No.7703/08/J1, dated 12.08.2008 alleging that the same is illegal and contrary to the Tamil Nadu Municipal Public Health Service Regulation, 1970.

2. According to the petitioner, he is a Graduate in Chemistry subject. He joined Gandhigram Rural Institute (Deemed University) in Sanitary Inspector Course, which was then of one year duration. After undergoing the said course, he has registered his name with the employment exchange on 26.10.1998. While he was expecting that his name would be sponsored for the post of Sanitary Inspector, [category 1, class IV of regulation 2] under the Tamil Nadu Municipal Public Health Service Regulations 1970, the second respondent, by means of the impugned proceedings, has furnished the service particulars in respect of Sanitary Supervisors/Field Assistants who are already in service and who have completed condensed Sanitary Inspector course for six months conducted by the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Chennai for giving promotion as Sanitary Inspectors. The said list was furnished to the second respondent herein. The said proceedings is under challenge in this Writ Petition.

3. According to the learned counsel for the petitioner, as per the qualification prescribed under the Tamil Nadu Municipal Public Health Service Regulations 1970, a candidate, to be eligible for being recruited either by means of transfer from the category of Field Assistants or Sanitary Supervisors or by means of direct recruitment, should possess Sanitary Inspector's Certificate granted by the Additional Director, Health Service and Family Planning, Chennai or must possess a Health Inspector's Certificate awarded by the Principal, Medical College, Trivandrum or must possess a Sanitary Inspector's Certificate, awarded by the Director of Public Health, Bombay or Sanitary Certificate awarded by the Gandhigram Rural University. He would submit that in all these institutions, the duration of the said course is one year, and therefore, the impugned list, which contains the list of candidates, who have undergone condensed course of duration of six months, is not legally sustainable; if these unqualified persons, who have undergone the course only for six months, are recruited by means of transfer, that would affect the chances of the members of the petitioner's association to get appointed by means of direct recruitment. The members of the petitioner's association are fully qualified, as they have completed one year course. Therefore, according to the learned counsel for the petitioner, the impugned order is liable to be quashed.

4. A detailed counter has been filed by the second respondent, wherein inter alia, it has been stated that originally the duration of the said course was one year. But, later on, pursuant to the Order of this Court in W.P.Nos.19702, 19703 and 19704 of 2007, dated 09.06.2008, the Government has issued G.O.Ms.No.53, Health and Family Welfare Department, dated 12.02.2007, thereby approving to conduct condensed training for Sanitary Supervisors and Field Assistants for six months. The impugned list contains the names of those Sanitary Supervisors and Field Assistants who have undergone the said course, and therefore, there is no illegality in the impugned list. She would submit that according to the Rules, there is no prescription in respect of the duration of the course. The duration of the course is to be prescribed only by the Government and the Government has now prescribed the duration of the course as six months for Sanitary Supervisors and Field Assistants who are already in service. Therefore, the impugned order does not require any interference at the hands of this Court, it is contended.

5. The learned counsel for the respondents 4 and 5 would submit that their names do find a place in the impugned proceedings. Since they have undergone the condensed course of six months and certificate has also been issued by the Government, they are eligible for being promoted as Sanitary Inspectors. Therefore, he would pray for dismissal of the Writ Petition.

6. I have considered the rival submissions.

7. Before adverting to the facts of the case, let me have a glance through the relevant provisions of Tamil Nadu Municipal Public Health Service Regulations 1970, hereinafter referred to as 'the Regulations'.

8. As per the regulation, the post of Sanitary Inspector has been classified as category 1 in class IV. Class 2 of the regulation speaks of the mode of appointment which is as follows:-

"Category 1:

By recruitment by transfer from the category of Field Assistant or Sanitary Supervisor coming under the Tamil Nadu Municipal (Non-Centralised Regular) Public Health Establishment Regulations, 1976, or

2. By direct recruitment if no qualified Field Assistant or Sanitary Supervisor is available".

9. Class 6 of the regulation speaks of the qualification. It states "no person shall be appointed to the class and category specified in column (1) below, unless he possesses the qualifications specified in the corresponding entry in column (ii) thereof.

Class 4 reads as follows:-

"Class IV: Category 1

(a) Must possess a Sanitary Inspector's Certificate granted by the Additional Director of Health Services and Family Planning, Chennai as the Chairman, Board of Examiners constituted by Government in this behalf; or must possess a Health Inspector's Certificate awarded by the Principal Medical College, Trivandrum or must possess a Sanitary Inspector's Certificate awarded by the Director of Public Health, Bombay; or Sanitary Inspector Certificate awarded by the Gandhigram Rural Institute; and

(b) Must possess physical fitness for camp life and satisfy the physical standard prescribed for Health Inspectors".

10. A conjoint reading of the above two provisions would keep things beyond pale of any doubt that appointment to the post of Sanitary Inspector can be made either by recruitment by transfer or if there are no qualified Sanitary Supervisors or Field Assistants available in the department, then direct recruitment can be resorted to. But, in this case, according to the learned counsel for the petitioner, though the persons, whose names have been furnished in the impugned proceedings, are already working either as Sanitary Supervisors or Filed Assistants, still they do not have essential qualification of having undergone the Sanitary Inspector's Certificate course of duration of one year, and so, it should be declared that there are no eligible candidates in the department for recruitment.

11. I have given an anxious consideration to the said contention.

12. A cursory perusal of the qualification prescribed in the Regulation would go to show that the regulation does not prescribe any duration for the Sanitary Inspector's Certificate Course and it only states that a person to be eligible for being appointed as Sanitary Inspector, should possess a Sanitary Inspector's Certificate granted by the Additional Director, Health Service and Family Planning, Chennai or similar certificate issued by the other authorities mentioned therein. Nowhere it has been prescribed that the candidates should have undergone the said course of duration of one year compulsorily.

13. As rightly pointed out by the learned Additional Government Pleader that though it is true that prior to the year 2007, the duration of the said course was one year, as per G.O.Ms.No.53, Health and Family Welfare Department, dated 12.02.2007, the Government has approved the condensed training for Sanitary Supervisors and Field Assistants for six months for the benefit of those people who have been already working in the department for a long period. It should be remembered that the petitioner has not challenged the legality and correctness of G.O.Ms.No.53, Health and Family Welfare Department, dated 12.02.2007, and instead, he challenges only the proceedings of the second respondent. So long as the duration of the said course has been approved by the Government as six months those people who have undergone the said course of duration of six months, in my considered opinion, are eligible to be promoted as Sanitary Inspectors.

14. It should be again emphasized that the qualification prescribed for appointment in the regulation does not say that duration of the said course should be one year in all cases. The duration of the said course is to be decided only by the Government. But, in this case, for the reasons known to the Government, the Government has prescribed the duration of the said condensed course as six months.

15. The learned counsel for the respondents 4 and 5 has produced the Sanitary Inspector's Condensed Course Certificates issued by the Government of Tamil Nadu to the respondents 4 and 5. Therefore, I am of the view that the condensed course for duration of six months satisfies the requirements of the regulation.

16. The learned counsel for the petitioner would rely on a Judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Secretary, State of Karnataka, v. Umadevi reported in 2006 (4) SCC 1. He relies on paragraph 34 of the said Judgment, wherein, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has referred to an earlier Judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in A.Umarani v. Registrar, Coop Societies reported in 2004 (7) SCC 112. It is stated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the said Judgment that if appointments were made in contravention of mandatory provisions of the Act and statutory rules framed thereunder and by ignoring essential qualifications, the appointments would be illegal and cannot be regularized by the State. Similarly, the learned counsel for the petitioner relies on an another Judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Pramod Kumar v U.P.Secondary Education Services Commission reported in 2008 (7) SCC 153, wherein the Hon'ble Supreme Court has held "the qualification for holding a post have been laid down under a statute. Any appointment in violation thereof would be a nullity".

17. Applying the law laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the above said Judgments, if the facts of the present case are considered, as I have already held earlier, since the Sanitary Inspector's Certificate course of duration of six months satisfies the qualification prescribed in the regulation and since the same is not in violation of the said regulation, I am of the considered view that the impugned proceeding does not require any interference at the hands of this Court at all. The impugned proceeding cannot be said to be either illegal or arbitrary or void as it is stated by the learned counsel for the petitioner.

18. As I have already stated that since there are eligible candidates already working as Sanitary Supervisors and Field Assistants with required qualification, the impugned proceeding has been issued to consider them for promotion as Sanitary Inspectors. After promoting these people, if still there are vacancies, the learned Additional Government Pleader for the respondents 1 to 3 would submit that the authorities would resort to direct recruitment, in which case, the claim of the petitioner association would be considered. The said statement of the learned Additional Government Pleader is recorded.

19. In view of all the above positions, I do not find any merit in this Writ Petition and the same is dismissed. Consequently, connected M.Ps are also dismissed. No costs.

NB

To

1.Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu,

Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department, Fort.St.George, Chennai 600 009.

2.The Commissioner,

Municipal Administration,

Ezhilagam, Annex,

Chepauk, Chennai 600 005.

3.The Director,

Public Health and Preventive Medicines,

No.359, Annasalai,