Gen merit OBC candidate cannot be adjusted: SC
New Delhi, Apr 8: Reaffirming its judgement on Mandal Commission case, the Supreme Court has held that a candidate from the Other Backward Class, selected in the general category, cannot be considered appointed under the OBC quota.
A bench comprising Mr Justice H K Sema and Mr Justice A R Lakshmanan, in their judgement delivered on April 5, dismissed an appeal by the Centre and directed it to pay costs of Rs 10,000 each to all of the respondent candidates and allot jobs to them within one month.
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) had recommended names of 739 candidates for appointment to the posts of IAS, IFS and IPS in the year 1999. The names of two of the candidates were withheld and remaining 737 were to be appointed on one to one basis for different categories of candidates. Of these, 174 posts were reserved for the OBC candidates.
From general category, 36 OBC candidates qualified and were appointed on merit. Only 138 OBC candidates got jobs from the OBC quota and remaining 36 OBC candidates were not selected.
These challenged their non-selection in the Delhi High Court which held that though the OBC candidates could be placed in the open category' for the purpose of placement, the quota reserved for OBC candidates could not be exhausted by such allotment. The Centre was directed to provide them jobs under the OBC category.
The Central government filed an appeal against the Delhi High Court judgment. Dismissing the appeal, the apex court, concurring with the majority judgment in Mandal Commission case, held that ''in this connection, it is well to remember that the reservations under Article 16 (4) do not operate like a communal reservation.
It may well happen that some members belonging, to say scheduled castes, get selected in the open competition field on the basis of their own merit. They will not be counted against quota reserved for Scheduled Castes and will be treated as open competition candidates''.
The court, however, noted in context with 36 vacancies reserved for OBC, that it ''was at a loss as to what had happened to those remaining services/posts after allocation of services to all the candidates in terms of their preferences. We say no more.'' Vacancies still exist even after allocation of posts to all the candidates.