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Anu Chopra Vs. the Director, Sports Department, Chandigarh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petn. No. 3622 of 1982
Judge
Reported inAIR1983P& H81
ActsConstitution of India - Article 14
AppellantAnu Chopra
RespondentThe Director, Sports Department, Chandigarh and anr.
Cases ReferredK. M. Sathakathulla v. Director of Medical Education
Excerpt:
.....a nexus to the objects sought to be achieved. 1) making it incumbent that the benefit of punjabi domicile would be available to the children of the employees of the punjab government or other state government or central government only is clearly discriminatory and violative of art......and secured 43% marks. it is the admitted position that as per the latest policy decision of the state government a sportsman/sportswoman who secured 25% marks in this test is eligible to be considered for admission to this course against 2% reserved quota meant for them. in order to establish his/her status as sportsman/sportswoman, he or she has to secure a certificate known as 'sports gradation certificate' under the instructions referred to above. the petitioner applied to the director sports, punjab, for the issuance of this certificate to her on 12th july, 1982 on the basis of her achievements which are as under :--(i) participated in 25th national school games winter meet, delhi 1979, (ii) participated in 34th national women hockey championship 1980 held at indore. (iii) runner.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. The petitioner who is daughter of a practising lawyer at Chandigarh and who indisputably originally belongs to village Nanewal Tehsil Balachaur, District Hoshiarpur, Punjab makes a grouse of the non-issuance of a gradation certificate by the Sports Department of the Punjab Government as per instructions No. 47/12/82-5 Edu(5)/2417 dated 20th May, 1982(Annexure R-1) making her eligible for admission to a Medical College in Punjab. The petitioner took the Pre-Medical Entrance Test (P. M. E. T.) held on 6th June, 1982 and secured 43% marks. It is the admitted position that as per the latest policy decision of the State Government a sportsman/sportswoman who secured 25% marks in this test is eligible to be considered for admission to this course against 2% reserved quota meant for them. In order to establish his/her status as sportsman/sportswoman, he or she has to secure a certificate known as 'Sports Gradation Certificate' under the instructions referred to above. The petitioner applied to the Director Sports, Punjab, for the issuance of this certificate to her on 12th July, 1982 on the basis of her achievements which are as under :--

(i) Participated in 25th National School Games Winter Meet, Delhi 1979,

(ii) Participated in 34th national Women Hockey Championship 1980 held at Indore.

(iii) Runner Up in Punjab University Women Sports Tournament 1980-81.

(iv) Runner up in M. C. M. D. A. V. College for Women Chandigarh Sports Tournament 1980-81.

Though according to the petitioner no order declining her to issue the certificate has been passed by the above noted Directorate, yet she has verbally been informed that she is not entitled to the said certificate in view in Clause (9) of the instructions (Annexure R-1) This stand of the petitioner is not denied by the State Govt. and rather it has been pleaded in no uncertain terms that she is not entitled to the requisite certificate in terms of Clause (9) of the instructions referred to above. It deserves to be noticed here that the petitioner has already bee granted a domicile certificate (Annexure P-1) by the Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) Balachaur, District Hoshiarpur. It has been stated in the certificate that the petitioner Km. Anu Chopra daughter of Shri Ram Lubhaya Chopra of village Nanewal Tehsil Balachaur, District Hoshiarpur belongs to the said village and she is a domicile of the Punjab State. It is not in dispute that petitioner's father Shri Chopra was born in village Nanewal and had his earlier education up to Matric Standard in a school at Balachaur and then joined the Central Government Service in the year 1956 and had his postings at different places in Punjab up to the year 1976 when he resigned from that service and after attaining a degree in Law started his practice as an Advocate of this Court in 1979.

2. Clause (9) of the instructions (Annexure R-1) around which the whole controversy revolves reads as follows :--

'Clause (9). Punjabi domicile benefit will be given to the children of employee of Punjab Government, other State Governments and Central Government.'

Though the intention behind the issuance of the instructions is not very clear to me yet the learned counsel for the respondent-authorities explains that only the children of Punjabi domicile in service of the State Government or Central Government or any other State Government are entitled to Sports Gradation Certificates. The rationale behind this instruction as per the explanation offered in para 16 of the written statement is that 'the Government employees are stationed at various places under the orders of Governments, whereas other categories such as businessmen, industrialists etc. are not under compulsion to stay out from the Punjab State' On this basis it is maintained that the abovenoted instruction is not discriminatory as is asserted by the petitioner. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties at some length do not find any merit in the stand taken by the respondent-authorities.

3. By now it is well had laid down that a law-making authority is not debarred from making reservations in favour of particular class of persons through executive instructions or orders provided that classification is based on reasonable criteria and has a nexus to the objects sought to be achieved. No classification can be held valid unless it is shown to bear a just and reasonable relation to the objects of a particular legislation before he Court. It is against beyond dispute that the guarantee of equality extends not only to statutes, rules and notifications but also to the executive orders. It is conceded that the primary object of making reservations in favour of sportsman/sportswomen for the purpose of admission to Medical Colleges is to provide then an opportunity to be admitted to those colleges even with a lower percentage of marks. This in all probability is for the reason that these sports people because of their activity in the field find lesser time for studies. If that be the object--as it is--then how and why the children of the Government employees only are entitled to such certificates is not explained anywhere. In other words, what is the nexus between the object of the instructions--providing for reservations in favour of sportsman/sportswomen--and the above-noted classification created from the class of sportsman/sportswomen. Why a sportsman/sportswomen whose parents are either in business, industry or n any other profession or trade other than Government service is not at par with the sportsman/sportswomen who is progeny of a Government servant is nor made clear by the respondents. To my mind, the classification created by the respondent-authorities is no classification at all in the real sense of the term as it is not based on any characteristics which are peculiar to the persons who as per clause (9) of the instructions are held to be entitled to that. The mere fact of a classification is not sufficient to relieve a statute or executive order from the reach of equality clause of Art. 14. Somewhat similar observation that 'Art. 14 does nor forbid classification,, but the classification has to be justified on the basis of the nexus between the classification and the object to be achieved' has been made by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in K. M. Sathakathulla v. Director of Medical Education, Madras, AIR 1968 SC. 1012, a case pertaining to admissions to a Medical College.

4. Thus to my mind, the abovenoted clause (9) of the instructions (Annexure R.1) making it incumbent that the benefit of Punjabi domicile would be available to the children of the employees of the Punjab Government or other State Government or Central Government only is clearly discriminatory and violative of Art. 14 of the Constitution of India. As already pointed out the petitioner has already been granted a domicile certificate and she as per her assertion is a sportswoman of outstanding merit but her only misfortune is that her father is no more in Government service. This can hardly be a criterion which can be justifies on any premises to deny her the benefit of the instructions as a whole. Thus clause (9) of the abovenoted instructions is struck down as ultra vires the Constitution of India.

5. In the light of the above discussion this petition is allowed and the respondent-authorities are directed to consider the case of the petitioner for the grant of Sports Gradation Certificate in the absence of clause (9) of the instruction (Annexure R.1) within a period of one week from the receipt of this order and if she is entitled to any certificate the same be issued to her forthwith. She would also be entitled to the costs of this petition which I determine as Rs. 300/- .

6. Petition allowed.


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