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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,
Chennai.


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