There is nothing unconstitutional if the government treats degree and diploma engineers on par for the purpose of promotion to a higher cadre, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A bench of justices R V Raveendran and Markandeya Katju rejected the argument of the degree holders that such a treatment amounts to violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
The degree holders argued that the Article is violated not only by treating "equals as unequals", but also by treating "unequals as equals."
"It is entirely for the authorities to decide whether the degree holders and diploma holders should be treated at par or not for the purpose of promotion from the post of junior engineer to the post of Assistant Engineer," the bench observed while dismissing the special leave petition(SLP) filed by Dilip Kumar Garg and others.
Garg and the other degree holders had challenged the validity of Rule 5 (ii) of the UP Public Works Department Group-B Civil Engineering Rules 2004.
Under the said rule, the State Government dispensed with the earlier provision for diploma engineers to either acquire the requisite technical qualification or pass a qualifying examination for promotion as Assistant Engineers.
The Allahabad High Court upheld the validity of the rule, following which the degree holders appealed in the apex court.