Can Reserved Category Candidates be Appointed in General Category? SC Judgment

On Friday, the Supreme Court held that the general category in employment is open to every person including to people who belong to a reserved category.

Seats which are available under the open category where merit is the only criterion is also available to every person.

According to the Court, a student from the reserved category who are more meritorious then the last ranked deserving student should be employed under the general category.

It was also observed that if the student is selected against a general category but have fewer marks than general category students, then such a scenario would be opposed to the principle of equality.

The petition was filed by candidates who had appeared for the selection process for employment as Constables in UP police force and had applied for SC category (female) and OBC category(female).

The last candidate who was selected in the General category (female) had scored 274.8928 marks, but 21 female OBC who had scored more than that number of marks were rejected.

Learned Counsel for the applicant argues that the State government did not correctly apply the rule of reservation and benefit of migration was not extended to candidates from the OBC category.

Reserved Category Candidates Can Be Appointed in General Category

In the Court’s opinion, a special dispensation can be given to candidates from the reserved category. If such a thing happens then, it is possible that candidates coming from General category might not get selected.

Hon’ble Justice Bhat, who gave a concurrent judgement, stated that the General category was open to all and the only to get a seat was merit.

He further stated that it was too late for the UP government to contend that a candidate who belongs to reserved category cannot fill open category seats.

As per Justice Bhat, both horizontal and vertical methods are used to ensure representation of candidates in the public services and such slots should not be seen as rigid where the merit of a candidate which allows them to show themselves in the open category, is foreclosed.

If such a thing is done, then it would result in a communal reservation, every social category will be confined to the extent of their reservation, and there would be merit.

The Court held that the General category was open to all, and the only condition to get a seat was merit.

Decision of the Court

Hon’ble Court directed the UP government to employ OBC candidates (female) who had scored more than 274.8928 marks and appropriate letter in that regard should be sent to all eligible candidates within two weeks.

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Case Details:-

Title: Saurav Yadav & Ors vs State of UP & Ors

Case No.: SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL)NO.23223 OF 2018 

Date of Order: 18.12.2020

Coram: Hon’ble Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Hon’ble Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Hon’ble Justice Hrishikesh Roy

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