N.H. Bhatt, J.
1. This is a petition by two petitioners who were appointed as District Extension Educators with effect from 15-4-1969 under the Directorate of Health Services of the respondent-State and at the time of filing of this petition they were working as the Health Education Extention Officers in the Health and Family Welfare Training Centre at Ahmedabad. There was then issued the Advertisement Annexure-8 dated 24-2-1983 inviting applications on or before 31-3-1983 for seven posts in Class-II cadre. The petitioners applied for those posts through their proper channel, I assume. As many candidates were there for seven posts, the Gujarat Public Service Commission which recommends the names to the respondent-Government after selecting suitable candidates conducted some written test. The two petitioners were successful with some students. The Commission decided to call only 31 candidates for interview after weeding out those who were not successful even at the 'elimination test' so called. The petitioners were, however, told as per Annexure-C that as they were age barred they could not be called for interview. This intimation Annexure-C dated 11-11-1983 has provoked the present petition for a prayer directing the Service Commission to call the petitioners for personal interview and consider their case for selection along with other candidates.
2. According to the petitioners they were eligible to be selected as per the 1968 Rules which are to be found at Annexure-A. The said Annexure-A inter alia provides as under:
1. Appointment to the post shall be made either-
(b) By direct selection to be eligible for appointment by direct selection a candidate must-
(i) be not more than 28 years of age unless already in Gujarat State Service.
Relying on these Rules the petitioners contended that the age bar that a candidate must be not more than 28 years of age did not apply to them because they were already in Gujarat State Service.
3. The matter appeared prima facie worthy to be considered and so, my Brother I.C. Bhatt, J. on 5-12-1983 had admitted the matter making it returnable on 16-1-1984. He has passed the following interim order:
Without prejudice to the contentions to be raised by the respondents, ad-interim relief directing the respondent No. 2 (the Service Commission) to take the interview of the petitioners for the posts in question, before December 20, 1983, and the results of the petitioners be kept in sealed cover in the custody of the respondent No. 2. It should be produced before the Court as and when called for.
Though I had not called for the original sealed cover, Mr. Panchal was ready with it and with the concurrence of the learned Advocate appearing for the petitioners and Mr. Panchal, the said cover was opened ultimately to find that both the petitioners were found to be fit for selection if the bar raised by the Service Commission did not apply. The cover was opened only for the purpose of avoiding the futile exercise if the petitioners were not found fit to be selected.
4. The affidavit-in-reply that has been filed makes a defence. It is alleged that Rule 8(5) of the Gujarat Civil Services Classification and Recruitment (General) Rules, 1967 specifically provides as follows:
Rule 8(5). Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any rules for the time being in force relating to the recruitment to any service or post, the upper age limit for the purpose of recruitment prescribed in such rules shall not apply to a candidate who is already in Gujarat Government Service either as a permanent Government Servant or as a temporary Government Servant, officiating continuously for six months in a substantive or leave vacancy or in a vacancy caused as a result of deputation of other servants and was within the age limit prescribed for the post at the time of the first appointment in Government Service. Provided that such upper age limit shall apply to such candidate in case where recruitment to a post of service is done through competitive examination or by direct selection for which experience has not been prescribed as one of the qualifications for such post.
5. Mr. Shah for the petitioners has urged that these Rules are of the year 1967 whereas the Recruitment Rules at Annexure-A are of the year 1968, and so, subsequent Rules should prevail. This argument does not stand to any avail to the petitioners because the above quoted Rule 8(5) was introduced by way of an amendment on 1-1-1970 as per the Government Notification No. GS(1) CRR-1167-G. The second argument of Mr. Shah was that the General Rules would over-rule the Special Rule. As an abstract proposition of law this is quite sound statement. However, Rule 8(5) is again expressed in a supervening language. It begins with 'notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any rules for the time being in force relating to the recruitment to any service or post, the upper age limit for the purpose of recruitment prescribed in such rules shall not apply to a candidate who is already in Gujarat Government Service with this proviso that such upper age limit shall apply to such candidate in case where recruitment to a post or service is done through competitive examination or by direct selection for which experience has not been prescribed as one of the qualifications for such post. Said Rule 8(5) came to occupy the field of operation on and from 1-1-1970 despite the Rule at Annexure-A of the year 1968. It is, therefore, to be assumed as an inevitable inference that on and from 1-1-1970 irrespective of what has been stated in the 1968 Rules, this Rule 8(5) would have its sway over such special rules of direct selection.
6. The third argument of Mr. Shah was resting on analogical reference. Inviting my attention to some such rules at Annexure-C collectively he submitted that, if the Government wanted to avoid operation of the 1967 Rules, it specifically referred to Section 8(5) of the General Rules. Analogical assistance by itself is a week assistance and such aids to interpretation are called for only if the statute is susceptible of one of the oilier of the interpretation. It is the cardinal rule of reading a law that the text, as it is, is to be read in the conjunction of all relevant material and other aids of interpretation are to be had if and only if the text is not very clear. I find that Rule 8(5) of the Rules already referred to above is too clear to be by-passed.
In above view of the matter the petition is rejected. The rule is accordingly discharged with no order as to costs.