Report No. 96
18. Public Employment (Requirement as to Residence) Act, 1957 (44 of 1957)
The operative provisions of the Act may be thus summarised: Section 2 repeals earlier laws imposing a requirement of residence in an area as a condition of employment in Government. Section 3 gives temporary protection to legislation imposing a requirement as to residence in a particular area as a condition of eligibility for public employment.1 The protection was limited to a period of 15 years. That period has now expired. But section 2 of the Act is still of importance, since it repeals earlier laws.
The subject-matter of the Act falls within the exclusive competence of Parliament, by virtue of Article 35(a)(i) read with Article 16(3) of the Constitution. Article 16(3) of the Constitution provides that nothing in that article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the Government or any local or other authority within a State or Union Territory, any requirement as to residence within that State or Union Territory prior to such employment or appointment. Under Article 35(a) (i) of the Constitution (so far as is material)-
"Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, as-
(a) Parliament shall have and the Legislature of a State shall not have, power to make laws
(i) with respect to any of the matters which under clause (3) of Article 16-may be provided for by law made by Parliament."
The Supreme Court2 has held that the Constitution in Article 16(4), speak of a whole State as the venue for residential qualification and it is impossible to think that the Constituent Assembly was thinking of residence in Districts, Taluks, Cities, Towns or Villages Section 3 of the Public Employment (Requirement as to Residence) Act, 1957, in so far as it relates to Telengana and certain Rules made under the Act, was, therefore, held ultra vires the Constitution.
Action to be taken.-Since section 2 of the Act is still of importance (as stated above), it is not possible to recommend repeal of the Act.
1. For case law on section 3, see-
(a) Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1970 SC 422.
(b) Government of Andhra Pradesh v. Reddy, AIR 1973 SC 827.
2. Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1970 SC 422.