The fixing of the minimum and maximum age for entering the government service under the statutory rules cannot be subject to judicial scrutiny, the Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled, putting an end to the filing of petitions on the subject.
On Thursday, justice Rajesh Bindal came out with the ruling while dismissing a petition that challenged Punjab's fixing the upper age for recruitment at 28 instead of 30 for appointment as deputy superintendent of police (DSP). The petitioner, advocate Nikhil Ahuja, had contended that Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) prescribed the maximum age for entering the Indian Police Service (IPS) as 30, and during the initial training period, IPS officers were also posted as DSPs.
It was submitted in the court that Punjab Police Rules, 1934, specified the upper age limit for the DSP's post as 25, hence, the maximum age the state government had given in its advertisement issued on December 6 last year was "picked out of a hat".
However, the court remarked that no the authorities had committed no illegality in fixing the maximum age at 28 years in terms of Punjab Police Service Rules, 1959, that framed for the DSP recruitment especially. The new rules came in 1959 because certain provisions in the 1934 rules, such as a degree of graduation from Panjab University, Delhi University or Aligarh Muslim University only, and the knowledge of Urdu and Persian, had become outdated.
The court also said that the UPSC's 30-year age limit for selecting IPS officers also was irrelevant to the case. Coming to the petitioner's individual case, the court found no merit in the submission, because the petitioner was more than 29 and ineligible under both the 1934 and the 1959 rules, where the maximum age was 25 and 28, respectively.