Prem Chand Jain, J.
1. This judgment would dispose of three writ petitions, that is, C. W. 2437 of 1970, C, W. 2149 of 1972 and C. W. 2174 of 1972 as common question of law arises in them. Civil Writ No. 2098 of 1970 filed by Miss Asha also involved a similar question but that has been dismissed as withdrawn. Initially that writ petition came up for hearing before B. R. Tuli J. (as he then was) and the same was referred by the learned Judge for decision to a larger Bench considering the importance of the question of law involved. Thereafter, the other three writ petitions were also ordered to be heard along with Civil Writ No. 2098 of 1970 as the point involved in those petitions was the same as in Civil Writ No. 2098 of 1970.
2. In all these petitions the main point that requires determination is whether reservation of vacancies for Ex-Arm-ed Forces Personnel is constitutionally valid or not. In order to decide the merits of the controversy, it would be useful to notice certain salient features which I am narrating from the amended writ petition filed by Dr. (Miss) Jasbir Gill (Civil Writ No. 2437 of 1970) which read as under:
The petitioner is a member of the Scheduled Castes. After her graduation (B.D.S.) in 1964, she was offered an appointment as Demonstrator (Dental) on temporary basis by the Director of Health Services, Punjab, Chandigarh, respondent No. 2, and the same was accepted by the petitioner on 22nd June, 1966. In the year 1968, Punjab Public Service Commission advertised five vacancies for the posts of Demonstrators in the Dental College and Hospital. Amritsar, and invited applications for the same. It seems that no recruitment was made on the basis of the said advertisement as again in November, 1969, a fresh advertisement, copy of which has been attached as An-nexure 'B' to the petition, was issued in-viting applications for six posts of Demonstrators.
The petitioner submitted her application in response to the said advertisement. The Punjab Public Service Commission interviewed the candidates, including the petitioner. Thereafter, the Punjab Government issued orders appointing respondents Nos. 3 to 9 as Demonstrators in the advertised vacancies. Contemporaneously with this order, the Government passed another order terminating the services of the Demonstrators, including the petitioner, who were already working. A copy of this order is attached as Annexure 'C'. It is in these circumstances, that Civil Writ No. 243V of 1970 was filed by Dr. Jasbir Gill. Written statements were filed separately on behalf of respondents Nos. 1. 2, 4 and 7 in which material allegations made in the writ petition have been controverted.
3. While challenging the legality of the impugned order, the main contention raised by Mr. J. L. Gupta, learned counsel for the petitioner, whose contentions were adopted by the learned counsel for the petitioners in the other writ petitions, was that reservation for Ex-Emergency Commissioned Officers to the exent of fifty per cent was unconstitutional. In nutshell what was sought to be argued by Mr. Gupta was that under Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India, no reservation could legally be made for the Ex-Emergency Commissioned Officers. In the alternative it was submitted that even if such a reservation could be made, then also the same was liable to be struck down as unconstitutional because the entire reservation came to seventy per cent, that is, fifty per cent for the Ex-Emergency Commissioned Officers and twenty per cent for Scheduled Castes.
4. On the other hand, Mr. Har-bans Lal, learned counsel appearing for the private respondents, whose contentions were adopted by the learned counsel for the respondents in the other writ petitions, submitted that the argument of Mr. Gupta, was misconceived inasmuch as no reservation was made in favour of the Ex-Emergency Commissioned Officers under Article 16(4) of the Constitution. According to the learned counsel, it was a case of classification for the purpose of selecting or choosing the source from which the appointment was to be made and as the classification has reasonable nexus with the object to be achieved, the so-called reservation for the Ex-Emergency Commissioned Officers was legal and constitutionally valid. Mr Harbans Lal, learned counsel for the respondents, very fairly conceded that if it was held that the reservation had been made under Article 16(4) of the Constitution, then the same could not legally be upheld.
5. After giving our thoughtful consideration to the respective contentions of the learned counsel for the parties in the light of the various judicial pronouncements, we find that the point in issue is of considerable importance and deserves to be decided by a larger Bench. Accordingly, it is directed that papers of these cases be laid before my Lord the Chief Justice for appropriate orders.
S.S. Sandhawalia, J.
6. I agree.