1. The petitioner was formerly working as a teacher in Primary School. By the memo dated 17-10-1962 (marked as Exhibit 'B') issued by the Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Chitradurga, she was temporarily promoted as Tailoring Instructor (the name of the post is used uniformly irrespective of the sex of the incumbent) and posted to the Government high School, Shantigrama, Hassan District. By the memo dated 19-10-1965 (marked as Exhibit 'D') issued by the Director of Public Instruction in Myosre, respondent-17 was appointed as Tailoring Instructor and posted to the Government High School at Shantigrama in the place of the petitioner. In this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, the petitioner has challenged the memo (Exhibit 'D') by which she was sought to be replaced by respondent-17.
2. After filing this petition, the petitioner made an application for an interim order staying the operation of the impugned memo. But, before any order could be made on such application, she was relieved from the post of Tailoring Instructor in Government High School at Shantigrama and respondent-17 took charge of that post.
3. Respondent 4 to 38 were serving as Crafts Teachers and Assistant Crafts Teachers in the Department of Industries and Commerce. When those posts were abolished, the Governor in exercise of the power under the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution, made rules called 'The Mysore Absorption of Instructors and Assistant Instructors in Tailoring Rules, 1965' which were published by the Notification dated 29-5-65 (marked Exhibit 'C'). Rule 2 of these Rules provides that notwithstanding anything contained in the Mysore State Civil Service (General Recruitment) Rules, 1958, and the orders fixing the general qualification for Instructor and Assistant Instructor in Tailoring, the persons mentioned in column 2 of the Schedule to corresponding entry in column 3, with effect from the date of he Notification, be deemed to have been absorbed in the category of posts in the Mysore Education Department mentioned in the corresponding entry in column No. 4 thereof.
4. It is pursuance of these Rules that respondent-17, who was formerly serving as Crafts Teacher in the Department of Industries and Commerce and whose services had been terminated, was appointed as Tailoring Instructor and posted to the Government High School, Shantigrama.
5. Mr. Prahalada, the learned counsel for the petitioner contended that while the petitioner possessed the qualifications prescribed for the post of Tailoring Instructor in High Schools, many of the respondents who had been appointed as Tailoring Instructors under the aforesaid Rules, did not possess the requisite qualifications for being so appointed.
6. Mr. Prahlada did not dispute that respondent 17 who was posted in place of the petitioner possessed the requisite qualifications for being appointed as Tailoring Instructor in High school, but, what Mr. Prahalada contended was that if such of the respondents who did not possess the requisite qualifications had not been appointed, the necessity for reverting the petitioner from the post to which she had been temporarily promoted, would not have arisen.
7. At the time when respondents 4 to 38 had been appointed as Tailoring Instructors in High Schools, the qualifications for those posts had not been prescribed by any Rules made by the Governor under the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution. But, those qualifications were prescribed merely by a Government Order. Even if those qualifications had been prescribed by Rules made by the Governor under the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution, if was open to the Governor, by subsequent Rules, to modify those qualifications in respect of any class of appointees so long as Articles 14 and 16 were not violated. But Mr. Prahalada argued that the aforesaid Rules made by the Governor for the absorption of the Crafts Teachers retrenched from Department of Industries and Commerce, violated Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution because those Rules enabled the retrenched Crafts Teachers to be appointed as Crafts Instructors in the Education Department, without regard to their possessing requisite qualifications.
8. It is well settled that Article 14 of the Constitution does not ensure absolute uniformity; and that it permits different classes being treated differently, provided the same results from classification based on criteria having reasonable relation to the object sought to be achieved by such classification. Likewise, equality of opportunity for employment or appointment to public offices under Art. 16 is need not be an absolute equality. Equality of opportunity guaranteed under Art. 16 is not violated by different classes of applicants with different attainments like previous experience, being dealt with differently so long as such classification is founded on a reasonable basis.
The aforesaid Rules made by the Governor provide for absorption of the category of officials who had been working as Crafts Teachers in another Department of the Government (namely, the Industries and Commerce Department) and whose services were terminated on account of abolition of those posts. They had acquired experience while they were working as Crafts Teachers in the Industries and Commerce Department. Taking into account such experience and the need to absorb those officials into service, these Rules did not insist on those retrenched officials having the general qualifications which might otherwise be required for persons directly recruited or promoted to those posts. We think in the circumstances, the said retrenched officials, who were subsequently absorbed as Crafts Instructors in the Education Department, form a separate class for whom special provision could be made regarding their eligibility, without violating Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution; and Rule 2 of the said Rules and the classification made therein can be justified on the ground of the officials absorbed under those Rules having acquired the necessary experience while discharging similar duties when they were working in the Department of Industries and Commerce before their services were terminated on account of abolition of the posts in that Department.
9. Thus, the petitioner has not established that the appointment of respondents 4 to 38 made in accordance with the said Rules were invalid or violative of Art. 14 and 16. Moreover, respondent 17, who replaced the petitioner, had been appointed as Crafts Teacher on 29-5-1961, while the petitioner was promoted temporarily as Tailoring Instructor subsequently, i.e., only on 17-10-1962.
10. However, Mr. Prahalada next contended that under the terms of the memo by which the petitioner was promoted temporarily as Tailoring Instructor, she could not be reverted unless that temporary vacancy ceased or until that post was filled by appointment by the Public Service Commission. The memo by which the petitioner was promoted, clearly stated that such promotion was purely on a temporary basis. On a proper construction of the memo it appears to us that the two events, namely, the cessation of the temporary vacancy and the appointment by the Public Service Commission for that post, merely indicate the outermost points of time beyond which she could not be continued in that post and that it did not mean that the authorities could not revert her to the lower post earlier to either of these points of time for any valid reason.
11. For the reasons stated above, this petition fails and is dismissed. But, we make no order as to costs.
12. Petition dismissed.