A.D. Koshal, J.
1. The petitioner was appointed to the post of headman of village Koneripalayam on a temporary basis in the year 1969 when it fell vacant on the death of the permanent incumbent named Gopal. The appointment was made by the Revenue Divisional Officer (hereinafter referred to as the R.D.O.), who then called for applications from intending candidates so that a permanent incumbent to the post could be selected. By his order dated 24th May, 1971 the R.D.O. appointed the petitioner to the post on a permanent basis giving him the benefits of Rule 18 of the Tamil Nadu Village Officers Service Rules, 1970 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules), which laid down that the Rules would not apply to a person who was holding the post of a village headman either temporarily or permanently on the date when the Rules came into force.
2. Respondent No. 3 who was the rival candidate for the post filed an appeal against the order of the R.D.O. before the District Revenue Officer (for short D.R.O.). During the pendency of that appeal, the Rules were amended so that Rule 18 in its amended form laid down as follows:
18. Rules not to apply to certain cases:
(a) Nothing contained in these rules shall apply to persons who, on the date of coming into force of these rules, are holding the posts of village headman or additional village headman, village karnam or additional village karnam permanently.
(b) Nothing contained in those rules shall apply to persons who, on the date of coming into force of these rules, are holding the posts of village headman or additional village headman, village karnam or additional village karnam temporarily, provided that at the time of their temporary appointment they were fully qualified under the Board's Standing Orders applicable to the areas 'not governed by the statute and their appointments had been made by the authority competent under the said Board's Standing Orders after calling for applications.
Admittedly the petitioner did not hold the post of village headman on a permanent basis when the Rules came into force nor had he been appointed temporarily after calling for applications so that by the time the appeal came up for decision, which was on 8th April, 1972, he could not take advantage of the provisions of Rule 18. Holding that the petitioner and respondent No. 3 were both ineligible for the post on account of Rule 3 of the Rules which prescribed that no person above 40 years of age could be appointed thereto, the D.R.O. accepted the appeal, refused to appoint either the petitioner or respondent No. 3 to the post and remitted the case to the R.D.O. for making a fresh appointment in accordance with law. It is by the order of the D.R.O. passed in appeal that the petitioner feels aggrieved and in this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India he seeks to have it set aside by the issuance of a writ of certiorari.
3. The Rules were made by the Governor in exercise of the powers vested in him under Article 309 of the Constitution of India. The amendment made to the Rules was also promulgated in exercise of the same powers. The form in which the Rules stood on the date of the hearing of the appeal by the D.R.O. precluded the petitioner from having the advantage of Rule 18 because in its amended form that rule was retrospective in character and effective from the date when the Rules had originally come into force, so that it was incumbent on the D.R.O. to act upon that rule as amended. And if that be so, no exception can be taken to the impugned order; for, the petitioner did not fulfil the qualifications of persons to whom the Rules were made inapplicable by virtue of the provisions of the amended Rule 18, and Rule 8 therefore was attracted to his case and was rightly held to be a bar to his appointment.
4. In the result, the petition fails and is dismissed, but with no order as to costs.