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India—The Civil Service Commissioners—Question

Volume 203: debated on Thursday 28 July 1870

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said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for India, How many Asiatics had been disqualified for a time or altogether, after having passed a successful examination, owing to their being over age; if he would give their names, and state in how many cases an appeal had been made to reverse the disqualification, and in what instances it had been reversed; and, whether any Asiatics had been disqualified on the score of age previous to their presenting themselves for examination, they having given in their names as intending to compete?

Sir, the best information I can give on this subject is contained in a memorandum that has been forwarded to me from the Civil Service Commission, which I will read to the House—

"Last year (1869) two Asiatics—Mr. Banerjea and Mr. Thakur—who had been successful, were afterwards found to have entered their respective Universities in India at such dates, and under such regulations respecting age, as to make them primâ facie ineligible for the Civil Service. They were called upon to explain, and their explanation not being deemed satisfactory, they were pronounced disqualified. One of them, Mr. Banerjea, applied for a mandamus to compel the Civil Service Commissioners to hear further evidence. The Commissioners heard further evidence, both in his case and in the other, and made inquiries of their own; and in both cases they saw reason, after very careful consideration, to reverse the disqualification. No Asiatics have been excluded from competition on the score of age after having given in their names as intending to compete."