K.L. Bapna, J.
1. This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.
2. The case of the petitioner is that a notification was issued by the Rajasthan Public Service Commission on 31-8-1954, inviting applications from graduates for appearing at a combined competitive examination for recruitment to Rajasthan Police Service amongst other Services.
The petitioner made an application, and was declared successful at the examination, and his name was recommended at No. 36 by the Public Service Commission for appointment in the Rajasthan Police Service. The petitioner was required by the Government of Rajasthan to appear before a Medical Board on 29-12-1955, for medical examination as to the physical fitness of the petitioner.
The Medical Board declared, the petitioner to be unfit for Police Service, and the Government of Rajasthan by letter of 15-3-1956, informed the petitioner accordingly. It appears thatalthough no official information was conveyedto the petitioner why he was declared medically unfit, the petitioner got scent that he was declared unfit by the Medical Board because he was found wearing glasses of the power of -- 4.5 in one of his eyes for correction of the eye-sight to 6/6.
He accordingly wrote a letter to the Government on 18-1-1956, that the number of his glasses was -4.0 for correction of his vision to 6/6 and enclosed a prescription of Dr. R. P. Sarda dated 29-9-1949, recommending glasses of that power for the correction of his vision. A further representation was made on 24-1-19.56, and a reply was sent by the Government on 25-2-1956, that no relaxation beyond the prescribed standard was possible, and as the strength of his glasses was found by the Medical Board below the prescribed standard, the request of the candidate for reconsideration of his case could not be entertained.
The petitioner wrote another letter to the Government on 1-3-1956, praying for another Medical Board. This request was turned down by letter of 18-4-1956. The petitioner has come to this Court by his petition of 18-7-1956, on the allegation that the reasons given by theBoard for his being medically unfit were notcorrect.
The only ground for unfitness was stated by the Board to be that he was wearing glasses of the strength of -4.5 while according to Rules only -4 was allowed. The contention of learned counsel for the petitioner is that his glasses at the time were only -4, and not -4.5, and in any case, the standard of correction required with glasses, according to the revised instructions of the Government was -
Better Eye Worse Eye6/6 6/12
but the Medical Board did not examine him with reference to the levised standard laid down by the Government.
It was, therefore, prayed that the rejection of the petitioner by the Government on the ground of physical unfitness be set aside, and in the alternative it was prayed that another Medical Board be appointed for the examination of his eye-sight in accordance with the instructions of the Government for candidates appearing at that examination.
3. On behalf of the Government a reply has been filed that the rejection of the candidate was due to his being reported as unfit by the Medical Board in respect of his eye-sight. The report of the Board was also submitted. The relevant portion of the report of the Medical Board is as follows:
'3. Eyes :
(3) Defectin colour vision
(4) Fieldof vision
(5) VisualAcuity :
Acuityof vision 1
The opinion of the Board in respect of the candidate is:
'According to rules -4 is allowed whereas he is using -4.5 lens in one eye, as such unfit.'
4. The Regulations as to the physical fitness of the candidates were framed by the Government some time in 1955, and published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra of 21-1-1956. It is urged for the petitioner that the Rules were brought into force even before their publication, and they were amended on 28-11-1955, so as to lower the standard of physical fitness in respect of the eye-sight. These amended standard's were to be applied to the candidates who appeared at the competitive examination in December, 1954. The original standard fixed in 1955 and published in the Rajasthan Rajpara of 21-1-1956, with respect to eye-sight was as follows :
'6. The candidate's eye-sight will be tested in accordance with the following rules. The result of each test will be recorded:
(i) General: The candidate's eyes will be submitted to a general examination directed to the detection of any disease or abnormality. The candidate will be rejected if he suffers from any squint or morbid conditions of eyes, eyelids or contiguous structures of such a sort as to render or are likely at a future date to render him unfit for service.
(ii) Visual Acuity: The examination for determining the acuteness of vision includes two tests, one for distant, the other for near vision. Each eye will be examined separately.
Snellen's test types will be used for the test for distant vision, without glasses at a distance of 20 feet, and for the test for near visionwithout glasses at any distance selected by the candidate.
N. B. -- No candidate will be accepted for appointment whose standard of vision does not come upto requirements specified below without the use of the contact glasses. (A contact glassor lens is defined as a glass shell, the concavity of which is in contact with the globe of the eye, a layer or liquid being inter-posed between the lens and the cornea.) The meaning of the word 'glasses' wherever used in these Regulations is to be interpreted as not covering contact glasses'.
Naked EyeCorrected with glassesNear VisionBetterWorseBetterWorseBetterWorseA.Rajasthan Administrative Service and Rajasthan Accounts Service.6/246/366/66/120.60.8B.Rajasthan Police Service.6/126/246/66/90.60.8 Note: (i) Myopia in the above standards should not exceed -- 4 D.
(ii) Manifest Hypermetropia should not exceed + 1.5 D.
(iii) In cases with error of refraction above 2 D Ophthalmoscopic examination should be conducted to detect any progressive morbid changes of the choroid of retina.
(iv) Colour Perception. -- Inability to distinguish the principal colours will not be regarded as a cause for rejection but the fact will be noted in the proceedings and the candidate will be informed.
(v) Field of Vision. -- Each eye must have a full field of Vision as tested by hand movements.
(vi) Night Blindness: For Rajasthan Police Service. -- The candidate's night vision will be tested to ascertain whether or not he suffers from night blindness. The candidate who under the conditions of the ordinary test for Visual Acuity has 6/6 vision with both eyes open with or without glasses will be rejected, if under the conditions of the Night Blindness Tests, his vision with both eyes open, with or without glasses, falls below 6/24.'
5. The modification made was as follows:
'In partial modification of the instructions prescribed for physical examination of candidates for admission into the Rajasthan Accounts Service and the Rajasthan Police Service, Government have decided that the standard of eye-sight in respect of candidates declared successful at the combined competitive examination held in December 1954 for appointment to R. P. S./R. Ac. S. should be as follows:
Distant vision without glasses
Nearvision with or with-out glasses
6. The lowering of the standard was as follows:
7. Learned counsel for the petitioner raised one contention that the operation of the first note was done away with by amendment, and, therefore, if the vision of the candidate could be 6/6 and 6/12 by the use of any kind of glasses, he was not medically unfit. This argument is of course without any force, for except what was amended, the rest of the instructions remained intact, and while the standard was reduced, Note (i), which runs as follows:
'Myopia in the above standards should not exceed -- 4 D.'
continued, in our opinion, to be operative. The standards were changed, and, therefore, the first note will be applicable, to the revised standards, and the original instructions read with the modification would mean that the vision in the naked eye should at least be 6/60 in the better eye and 6/60 in the worse eye, and by correction with glasses, which should not exceed--4D the vision should be at least 6/6 in the better eye and 6/12 in the worse eye.
The medical report is to the effect that the distant vision of his naked right eye was 6/60, and with glasses of -4 it was 6/6. The distant vision of his left eye without, glasses was 6/60, and with glasses of -- 4.50, 6/6 P. It was explained by the learned Advocate General on instructions by one of the members of the Board that 6/6P meant that it was partially 6/6, and would be counted as 6/9. What the Board, therefore, found was that the vision of the candidate was -
(with -4 lens)(with -4.5 lens.)
The report that the required standard was achieved by the candidate by using glasses of the strength of -- 4.5 would be correct with reference to the previous standard fixed in 1955, and published in the Gazette of 21-1-1956, inasmuch as the worse eye was found to have a vision of 6/9 by correction with the glasses of the strength of -- 4.5, which was in excess of the permissible strength of -- 4 D (distant vision).
But the standard was lowered in November 1955, for the candidates who had appeared in the Examination of 1954 by Government order of 28-11-1955, No. F. 21 (13) Apptts (C)/54, according to which the requirement was that the candidate should at least have 6/12 in the worse eye by lenses not exceeding -- 4.
The medical report says that the candidate required -- 4.5 in order to achieve 6/6 (P) equivalent to, as explained, 6/9. The report does not show that the candidate did not possess the vision 6/12 with glasses by correction not exceeding -- 4. The report of the Medical Board does not show that the candidate was not possessed of the eye-sight according to the revised standard.
8. The learned Advocate General at one stage intimated that the Medical Board had examined the candidate with reference to the revised instructions, and certain notes had been kept of that examination, and offered to produce them in order to show that the candidate was not found fit according to the revised instructions also.
The learned Advocate General intimated today that the said notes had been destroyed, but urged that the candidate had been so examined and found medically unfit.
9. It is dangerous to accept this kind of statement in September, 1957, with respect to an examination which took place on 30-12-1955, in the absence of the record, and the omission of that fact from the written report of the Medical Board prepared on 30-12-1955. Human memory being what it is, it is unsafe to rely on the oral version of what took place in December, 1955, after a lapse of more than 18 months when what took place was required to be reported in writing.
As stated earlier, the report given by the Medical Board made the candidate unfit because he was using glasses of -- 4.5, in order to achieve a vision of 6/6 (P). What the Board was required to say was whether the candidate could have a vision of 6/12 with a correction not more than -- 4 in the worse eye. So far as the better eye was concerned, the report is that the candidate had the required vision. A case has been made for a second examination of the petitioner by a Medical Board.
10. Learned counsel contended that the instructions of the Government with respect to medical examination of the candidates to be employed by direct recruitment are different from those applicable to candidates who are promoted from the officers already in employment in the Police Service.
This may be so, but it does not suffer from any defect under Article 14 of the Constitution, for there is a reasonable ground for classification, for instance, it may be that a person already in employment does not satisfy the conditions of candidates for direct recruitment in respect of age or physical fitness, but his meritorious services may entitle him to a promotion.
11. The candidate has made two prayers. The first prayer is that the petitioner be appointed to Rajasthan Police Service. It is not possibleto give any instructions to the Government that the candidate be appointed, for this would depend, firstly, on his being found to be physically fit according to the revised standard laid down by the Government, and, secondly, Rule 26 of the Rajasthan Police Service Rules, 1954, authorises the Government to select the candidates from the list prepared by the Commission, provided it is satisfied, after such enquiry as may be considered necessary, that such candidates are suitable in all respects for appointment to the Service.
It is for the Government to consider the suitability or otherwise of the candidate when he fulfils all other requirements including that of physical fitness. The first prayer, therefore, cannot be allowed.
12. The second prayer is reasonable in view of the fact that the opinion of the Medical Board was not in conformity with the instructions of the Government.
13. The application is, therefore, allowed. A direction is made to the Government to appoint a Medical Board for examination of the candidate in accordance with the instructions applicable to candidates who appeared at the competitive examination for the Rajasthan Police Service in December, 1954. There will be no order as to costs for obviously the Government was acting according to the advice of the Board.