Supreme Court of India
Reservation is curse for our country. Our great Late Baba Saheb Ambedkar had approved reservations for a certain period only. But greedy politicians have extended year to year. The reservation system is killing intelligentsia of the country. Out Constitution has given us right of equality and equal treatment by the Governments, but due to reservation ,General Category candidates feel cheated by the system and generally they not applied for Government Jobs. This reservation system generates hate among society and reserve category candidates also feel the same.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited & Anr. v. Sandeep Choudhary & Ors.
Date of Order: April 28, 2022
OBC Candidates Must Be Appointed Through General Quota If They Are Meritorious Than The Last General Quota Candidate: Supreme Court of India.
- In this case, the Respondent had applied for the post of Telecom Technical Assistant (TTA) in BSNL.
- A competitive exam was conducted for the recruitment. No General Candidate could qualify for the exam. But, some OBC candidates qualified for the minimum requirement of 33% marks.
- There were 4 vacancies for OBCs and those were filled by the top 4 eligible candidates.
- Respondent in the present case had also qualified for the exam, but as there were only 4 vacancies for OBCs, he was placed on the waiting list.
- Considering the acute shortage of manpower, BSNL relaxed the qualifying marks by 10%.
- An issue regarding the merit list arose because BSNL appointed two reserved category candidates through the reserved quota even though they had got more marks than the General Category Candidates & they ought to have been appointed through the General Quota List.
- Due to this, the respondent could not get appointed. So, he approached the Central Administrative Tribunal, pleading that there could not be two cut-off marks for a single selection.
- The Tribunal ruled in the favor of the respondent.
- So, BSNL approached the Rajasthan High Court against the order of the Tribunal, through a Writ Petition.
- The High Court dismissed the said petition by observing that the respondent could have been selected against the vacancies reserved for the OBCs.
- Thereafter, BSNL moved to the Hon’ble Supreme Court through a Civil Appeal.
- In this case, an appeal was filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court by BSNL against the order of the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court, that had directed the BSNL to appoint the Respondent through the OBC Quota if sufficient vacancies exist.
- Article 16, Constitution of India: This Article provides that there must be equality of opportunity for all citizens for getting appointed in the Government Jobs. However, Clause 4 of this Article provides an exception, that the State can reserve posts in favor of any backward class of citizens.
- Article 142, Constitution of India: This Article is commonly known as the ‘Complete Justice Clause’. It provides that the Supreme Court can pass any decree or make any order for doing ‘complete justice’ in any matter pending before it.
POINT OF CONTENTION
Whether the reserved category candidates who have secured more marks than the Unreserved category candidates, ought to be placed in the Unreserved Quota List.
THE APPELLANT: Relied upon the judgment in the case of Union of India v. Ramesh Ram [(2010) 7 SCC 234] (“Ramesh Ram case”) to contend that the reserved category candidates, who had been selected on merit& placed in the general category list, could be adjusted against reserved category vacancies to give them a service of higher choice at the time of allocation of service. It was argued that the selection of the Respondent would have resulted in the expulsion of General category candidates, who had secured more marks than the Respondent. Furthermore, it was argued that the shuffling of the candidates would unsettle the entire selection process.
THE RESPONDENT: The Respondent relied upon the judgment in the case of Indra Sawhney & Ors. v. Union of India [AIR 1993 SC 477] (“Indra Sawhney”), to submit that if a reserved category candidate had obtained more marks than the general category candidate, then such reserved category candidate must be placed in the general category pool. Thereafter, other reserved category candidates must be appointed to the reserved quota seats. It was argued that if the criteria laid down in Indra Sawhney Judgment would have been followed, then the two candidates, who had secured more marks than the General Category candidates, would have been placed in the General Quota List, and the Respondent would have got his appointment through the Reserved Quota list.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court placed reliance upon a catena of judgments, including;
- Indra Sawhney &Ors. v. Union of India [AIR 1993 SC 477],
- Rajesh Kumar Daria v. Rajasthan Public Service Commission &Ors. [2007 SCC 8 785],
- Uttaranchal Public Service Commission v. Mamta Bisht [(2010) 12 SCC 204],
- Ritesh R. Sah v. Y.L. Yamul [(1996) 3 SCC 253],
- Saurav Yadav v. State of UP [(2021) 4 SCC 542],
- Sadhana Singh Dangi v. PinkiAsati [(2022) 1 SCALE 534].
- The court observed that while applying reservation, merit must be given precedence. If candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Tribes & other Backward Classes had secured more marks than the candidates belonging to Unreserved Classes, then the candidates belonging to reserved categories must be given precedence and considered against seats meant for unreserved candidates.
- Furthermore, it was observed that the judgment in the Ramesh Ram case was not applicable to the present case as the said decision was distinguishable on facts. In that case, an option was given to the candidates of Reserved Category to consider their candidature in Reserved Quota for securing posts in service of a higher preference.
- In the present case, no such option/preference had been given.
- Finally, the court noted that in the present case, the two candidates belonging to the OBC category, who had secured more marks than the last candidate in the General Quota List, must have been considered against the Unreserved seats. So, the respondent would have got his appointment under the OBC Quota. Therefore, the court observed that the Respondent was entitled to an appointment on the post of TTA.
- By using its powers under Article 142, Constitution of India, the court directed that on reshuffling, the general category candidates who were ‘wrongly’ appointed under the general quota must not be removed from service since they had been working for a long time.
Reservation is curse for our country. Our great Late Baba Saheb Ambedkar had approved reservations for a certain period only. But greedy politicians have extended year to year. The reservation system is killing intelligentsia of the country. Out Constitution has given us right of equality and equal treatment by the Governments, but due to reservation ,General Category candidates feel cheated by the system and generally they not applied for Government Jobs. This reservation system generates hate among society and reserve category candidates also feel the same. This reservation system should be removed and government should provide OBCs, SCs & STs candidates financially. The above decision of Supreme Court that if a OBC Candidate is meritorious than a General Category Candidates, then he /she should be selected through General Quota Category is not appreciable. This is a type of encroachment of the rights of General Category Candidates.
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