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SC upholds Rajasthan's 2-child norm for govt jobs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has upheld the two-child eligibility criterion of the Rajasthan government for seeking public employment, ruling that it is not discriminatory and does not violate the Constitution.

The Rajasthan Various Service (Amendment) Rules, 2001 bar candidates who have more than two children from seeking government jobs.

While upholding the two-child norm, the top court dismissed the appeal filed by ex-serviceman Ramji Lal Jat, who had applied for a constable's job in the Rajasthan Police on May 25, 2018 after his retirement from military in 2017.

A bench headed by Justice Surya Kant held that Rule 24(4) of the Rajasthan Police Subordinate Service Rules, 1989, which says "no candidate shall be eligible for appointment to the service who has more than two children on or after June 1, 2002" is non-discriminatory and does not violate the Constitution.

"This court held that the classification, which disqualifies candidates for having more than two living children, was non-discriminatory and intra-vires the Constitution, since the objective behind the provision was to promote family planning," the bench, also comprising Justices Dipankar Datta and K V Vishwanathan, said.

Jat's candidature was rejected in light of Rule 24(4) of the Rajasthan Police Subordinate Service Rules, 1989 on the ground that since he had more than two children after June 1, 2002, he stood disqualified for public employment under the State, as per the Rajasthan Various Service (Amendment) Rules, 2001.

He approached the Rajasthan High Court which turned down his appeal, saying the rule under which he has been disqualified falls within the realm of policy and does not warrant any interference by the court.

The ex-serviceman, however, contended that in addition to the rules prescribing the two-child eligibility norm, there are rules for absorption of ex-servicemen where the condition of not having more than two children has not been specified.

"Assuming it to be correct, we are of the view that such a plea does not advance the appellant’s case. It is undisputed that the appellant applied for recruitment to the post of Constable in Rajasthan Police and such recruitment is governed by the Rajasthan Police Subordinate Service Rules, 1989.

"These 1989 Rules have been specifically enlisted at Serial No.104 of the Schedule appended to the 2001 Rules. In view of this, we do not find any ground to interfere with the view taken by the High Court," the apex court said in its judgement.

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