Public Service Commission (Kerala) – Qualifications and experience for seeking appointment – Appointment to the post of Blacksmith Grade II – Experience as ‘casual labourer’ whether sufficient – Held, Merely because in the certificate, the nature of experience shows as ‘casual labourer’, the term is not the criteria that is to be taken into account, but the material aspect with respect to the nature of work carried out by the applicant. From the certificate, it is clear that petitioner was in continuous employment for a period of three years for a specified monthly salary. Therefore, merely the term ‘casual’ is employed in the certificate, it should not be applied disadvantageously to the petitioner if he has actually gained three years experience as contemplated in the notification as well as the General Conditions Part-II.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM
SHAJI P. CHALY, J.
W.P.(C) No.25049 of 2015
Dated this the 19th day of August, 2016
BY ADVS.SRI.K.SHAJ SRI.SAJJU.S
1. THE KERALA STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY, PATTOM P.O., THIRUVANANTHAPURAM PIN – 695 004.
2. THE KERALA STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, TRANSPORT BHAVAN, FORT P.O, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, PIN-695023
R1 BY ADV. SRI.P.C.SASIDHARAN, SC, KPSC R2 BY SRI.M.GOPIKRISHNAN NAMBIAR, SC, KSRTC
This writ petition is filed by the petitioner seeking direction to the 1 st respondent Kerala State Public Service Commission [hereinafter called ‘the P.S.C’] to include the petitioner in the ranked list in category No.470/09 for appointment to the post of Blacksmith Grade-II in the 2 nd respondent Corporation and to quash Ext.P5 letter issued by the P.S.C, whereby petitioner was informed by the 1 st respondent that he cannot be included in the rank list. Material facts for the disposal of the writ petition are thus:
2. First respondent issued notification dated 30.12.2009 inviting applications to category No.470/09 for direct recruitment to the post of Blacksmith Grade-II in the 2 nd respondent Corporation. Pursuant to the aforesaid notification, petitioner applied to the said post. Petitioner has all the requisite qualifications and experience for seeking appointment. But petitioner did not find a place in the final rank list published by the 1 st respondent. The reason assigned for excluding the petitioner stated in Ext.P5 is that his experience as casual labourer is not sufficient. It is the contention of the petitioner that, notification dated 30.12.2009 only requires a work experience of three years in any Body building/Body repairing Units having S.S.I registration. It does not make any exclusion to the work experience obtained as a Casual Labourer. The terms, conditions and eligibility for recruitment cannot be changed after the notification, and further contends that 1 st respondent cannot add additional criteria which has not been specifically provided in the notification. It is in this background, this writ petition is filed.
3. First respondent has filed a counter affidavit contending that the qualifications prescribed for selection to the post were: I.T.I Certificate in the trade of Blacksmith / Forger and Heat Treatment / Sheet Metal / Fitter / Diesel Mechanic / Mechanic Motor vehicle / Welder with not less than three years experience in any body building or body repair workshop having S.S.I Registration. Petitioner cleared the objective type O.M.R Test. Petitioner at the time of certificate verification conducted for the post from 17.02.2014 to 22.02.2014, produced National Trade Certificate in the trade of Sheet Metal Worker and Experience Certificate as casual labourer from M/s. Suresh Engineering Works and Metal Industries, Adoor, denoting experience from January, 1992 to January, 1995. The specific date of the month of January, 1992 or the month of January, 1995 is also not specified in Ext.P3 experience certificate. As per paragraph 19 of Part-II General Conditions, it is clearly stipulated that the experience gained by candidates in the capacity of paid or unpaid apprentices, trainees and casual labourers will not be accepted. As per the experience certificate produced, petitioner has gained experience in the capacity of casual labourer. Hence the application of the petitioner was rejected and his name was not included in the rank list for the post of Blacksmith Grade-II in the 2 nd respondent Corporation, published on 23.10.2014.
4. It is also stated that, a Division Bench of this Court in
Kerala Public Service Commission v. Anil Kumar, 2013 (2) KLT SN 103 (C.No.132)
while considering the empanelled service rendered in the K.S.R.T.C for the purpose of age relaxation, held that empanelled service which are only intermittent appointments cannot qualify for age relaxation. Therefore, it is the contention that experience as a casual employee does not qualify for the required three years experience as per the notification. Further, it is contended, going by the decisions reported in
Karnataka Public Service Commission & others v. B.M. Vijaya Shankar & others, 1992 (2) SCC 206
Rangaswamy v. Kerala Public Service Commission, 1982 KLT 574
the conditions in the notification is binding to both the candidates and the Commission and departure from the notification is not justified. Therefore, it is submitted that petitioner is not entitled to get any reliefs in the writ petition.
5. Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and learned Standing Counsel for the respective respondents, perused the pleadings and documents on record.
6. The question to be considered is whether the petitioner has the requisite qualification in accordance with the notification issued by the 1 st respondent inviting applications to category No.470/09 for the post of Blacksmith Grade-II in the 2 nd respondent Corporation. The notification is produced by learned Standing Counsel for the 1 st respondent and paragraph 7 deals with qualifications, wherein it is stated that, the candidate should be a Blacksmith, Forger & Heat Treatment, Sheet Metal, Fitter, Diesel Mechanic, Mechanic Motor Vehicle, Welder having I.T.I Certificate in any one of the aforesaid trades and experience certificate from a body building or body repairing workshop for a period of three years, which shall be provided in the format of certificate provided in the notification. In Ext.P5, the reason mentioned for not including the petitioner in the rank list is that the experience of the petitioner as a casual labourer is not acceptable. Petitioner has produced Ext.P1 I.T.I Certificate, Ext.P2 National Trade Certificate and Ext.P3 experience certificate. It is finding fault with Ext.P3, petitioner was not included in the rank list.
7. On a perusal of Ext.P3, it is categoric and clear that the certificate is provided in accordance with the format of certificate provided in the notification signed by the Proprietor of a Body Building workshop having S.S.I Registration, and countersigned by the Assistant Labour Officer, Adoor. On a perusal of the notification, the issue with respect to the term ‘casual labourer’ is absent.
8. Learned Standing Counsel for the 1 st respondent invited my attention to a Division Bench judgment of this Court in