PSC''s rejection of Muslim candidate''s application set aside

Chennai, Jan 31 (PTI) Setting aside Tamil Nadu PSC''sorder rejecting an application of a candidate for post ofcurator in the Archaeology department on the grounds that heis not a Hindu, the Madras High Court today directedauthorities to consider his candidature for any one of theposts advertised within 12 weeks.

Justice K Chandru issued the order on a writ petitionfiled by K P A Nallamohamed challenging the rejection of hisapplication for the post by Tamil Nadu Public ServiceCommission.

In his order, the judge said the note appended in thenotification that for the four advertised posts only Hindusshould apply was also invalid.

Justice K Chandru set aside the impugned order, anddirected authorities to consider the petitioner''s candidaturefor any one of the posts advertised within 12 weeks.

The petitioner contended that he had applied for thepost of curator following an advertisement by TNPSC for theposts of Epigraphist, Curator, Archaeological Officer andJunior Epigraphist in Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department.

However his application was rejected by TNPSC stating that hewas not a Hindu. The rejection was arbitrary, it wascontended.

The petitioner also submitted that even as per theinstructions, there was no requirement for a person toprofess Hinduism for the post of Curator.

"The petitioner had applied for all the four posts,giving preference for curator''s post. Since only Hindus alonewere eligible for the posts of Epigraphist, ArchaeologicalOfficer and Junior Epigraphist, he was not eligible to beconsidered for those posts. As regards curator, there was noevidence that he had Sanskrit knowledge as per thequalifications prescribed," the Commission contended in itscounter.

Justice Chandru said it need not be proved byproducing any recognised certificates alone as thenotification stipulated that it would be sufficient if aperson was able to read and write Sanskrit texts.

If knowledge was not expected to be proved byproducing certificates, then such a requirement could be foundonly during interview or by separately calling for details onthe fact. That was not done in this case, the judge said.

Justice Chandru said the authorities stand regardingthe candidate''s lack of Sanskrit knowledge was not indicatedas a reason for rejection.

When he applied, he had mentioned the curator''s postas his preference. Therefore, the authorities should haveconsidered his case for the post if he was otherwisedisqualified for the other three posts in view of thereligious requirement, the judge said.

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