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Mistake in sub-caste cannot lead to general quota job rejection: HC

January 31, 2020 06:48 AM

COURTESY TOI JAN 31

Mistake in sub-caste cannot lead to general quota job rejection: HC
Court Directs Punjab Govt To Appoint Petitioners Within Six Weeks’ Time
Ajay.Sura@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

The Punjab and Haryana high court has held that a minor mistake by an aspirant belonging to reserved category in filling job application would not disentitle the person from selection if they have secured more marks than the last candidate selected in general/open category.


The mistake of wrongly mentioning category in the application form would not have any impact on selection in the general category, the high court order said.

“The candidature outrightly cannot be rejected merely because a candidate belongs to a particular category. As per constitutional provisions and intent and purpose for which reservation has been provided therein, it is not as if benefit of reservation goes to discredit or disadvantage of a reserved category candidate. The petitioners, admittedly, belong to the Scheduled Caste category and even if, they are not granted the benefit of reservation because of wrong filling of the sub-category, their consideration against the general open seats cannot be denied to them especially when they have been found to have obtained more marks than the last selected and appointed general category candidate,” Justice Augustine George Masih of the high court observed in the order, which allowed some petitions filed by job aspirants who had applied for the Punjab government’s posts of multipurpose health workers.

In the final selection list, the petitioners qualified in the examinations and secured marks more than the last candidate selected in the general category.

The Punjab government had issued an advertisement on November 24, 2016, for filling up 1,263 posts of multi-purpose health workers. They belonged to the Scheduled Caste (Mazhabi Sikhs) category, but while filling-up application forms, they had wrongly mentioned Scheduled Caste (Ramdasia Sikhs) as their sub-caste. In the final selection list, the petitioners qualified in the examinations and secured marks more than the last candidate selected in the general category. However, their selection was cancelled over filing wrong caste sub-category in their application forms.

The counsel for the petitioners, Sukhdev Kamboj submitted that even if the petitioners were denied benefit of reservation because of mistake in filling their caste sub-category, their candidature could not have been rejected for consideration in open/general category vacancies.

Contesting the claim, the Punjab government contended that their candidature was cancelled because they had opted for a specific category in the application form but at the time of scrutiny, it was found that the category, under which they had applied, was not the same as that on the certificates they possessed. So, the state had no option but to reject the candidature of the petitioners outrightly.

After hearing both the parties, the HC observed that if the action of the Punjab government was permitted to be perpetuated it would amount to violation of Article 14 of the Constitution as irrespective of the category to which candidates belong, they have right to consideration against open/general category posts advertised. The high court also directed the state government to appoint the petitioners under general category within a period of six weeks

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