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  • The three judge bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde prescribed higher educational qualification as a qualification for promotion to a post does not violate Articles 14 and 16 of Indian Constitution. While doing so, he overruled a judgment of Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
  • The Bench comprised of Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramaniam apart from Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde.
  • The HC disallowed an administrative Order directing qualifications for promotion to post of Head Assistant. The reason behind this was to avoid differences among a similar group on basis of educational qualifications.


The Bench referred to the judgment in case of State of Mysore  & Anr. Vs. P. Narasinga Rao AIR 1968 SC 349 to reply to the reason. In this case it was held that a reasonable classification of employees is not prohibited under Article 16 (1).

The case of Jammu & Kashmir vs. Triloki Nath Khosa (1974) 1 SCC 19, was also referred as in this case, it was observed that Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution do not bar the rule which provides graduates to be eligible for promotion to exclusion of diploma holders.

The case of T.R. Kothandaraman vs. Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board (1994) 6 SCC 282 was also observed to regard that higher educational qualification is acceptable basis to classify and cannot be basis for barring promotion or restricting scope of promotion.


While referring to the T.R. Kothandaraman case, the Bench summarized three points in order to clarify reasons of judgment. First being giving permission to higher educational qualification as requisites to classify which will be accepted on basis of facts and circumstances.

Secondly, it was stated that it is basis for barring as well as restricting scope of promotion.

And lastly, the restriction placed cannot be extended to seriously jeopardize chances of promotion.


In the case of T.R. Kothandaraman, it was pointed that Court has to be aware about need to maintain efficiency and also judge validity of classification. The facts of the case highlight that non-graduates had chance to qualify themselves and therefore prescription of these rules do not violate Articles 14 and 16.


The dismissing of the writ petition was done on reasonable arguments. This may ensure more qualified and skilled people on posts of higher authority.

Click here to download the original copy of the judgment 

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