Lawyers who graduated from recognised universities in 2016 and those who got provisional degree certificates till September 9 this year can now apply for the post of civil judge in Tamil Nadu, with the Madras High Court allowing their plea and directing TNSPC to open an online window for the purpose. The first bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice C Saravanan passed the interim order on a batch of petitionsby fresh law graduates aspiring to apply for the post, for which the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission had issued a notification on September 9 this year.
The lawyers submitted that their applications were not accepted online though they fulfilled all criteria, as their provisional certificates were issued on a date prior to September 9, 2016.
Thus, their law degrees were not issued within a period of three years prior to the date of notification, they said.
The notification made it clear that candidates applying for the post must have obtained the law degree within a period of three years prior to the date of the notification.
Petitioners' counsel said this was violative of Article 14 of the constitution, without any rational nexus sought to be achieved by the notification in accordance with the Rules.
Counsel prayed for a direction to TNPSC to entertain the applications by providing them a one-time opportunity in the recruitment process, as exams for the recruitment were to commence on November 24 and Hall tickets to others were also yet to be issued.
The bench posted all petitions for final hearing to a later stage and directed TNPSC to open the online window immediately for the petitioners.
It said candidates applying for the post would have to satisfy the other criteria in the notification, including that of minimum and maximum age, without any relaxation.
The bench made it clear that its order would be valid till October 29 and that under no circumstances would the date be extended.
The facility of interim order can be made available to candidates, irrespective of their filing petitions before the Court, the bench said.
It allowed the graduates of the year 2016 to pay the prescribed fees online between October 21 and 29.
The last date for off-line fee payment is October 31.
The bench directed TNPSC to process these online applications filed between these dates as done for the other candidates who had already applied online prior to the cut-off date, issue Hall tickets to all candidates and allow them to appear in the exam, declare their results.
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