The Kerala High Court on Wednesday stayed a HC notification dated June 20, 2020 inviting applications for appointment to the post of Munsiff Magistrate, on the prima facie finding that the it excluded Economically Weaker Section (EWS) from the category of reservation.
After going through the grounds taken by the writ petitioner and since no instructions were forthcoming from the Respondents, the bench of Justice CS Dias ordered that step one process of the notification shall not be concluded, until the next date of hearing.
The Petitioners, Ramya AK, Majo CJ and Vishnu P Nair, practicing lawyers in the State and claiming to be potential beneficiaries under the EWS quota, had approached the High Court stating that the Respondent had failed to earmark the category of EWS from the reservation head of the notification.
They had contended that 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the economically weaker section in the general category is mandatory in terms of Article 15(6) and 16(6) of the Constitution, as inserted by way of 103rd Amendment Act.
"The conferment of power to the 'State' by the constitution under Article 15(6) and Article 16(6) to make any provision in favor of economically weaker section is with a view to achieve the goal of equality before law or equal protection of law as enshrined in Article 14 of the constitution of India. By excluding EWS from the category of reservation in Ext P1 notification, the 1st respondent had violated the fundamental rights of the petitioners as inherited from Article 14, 15 and 16 of the constitution of India," the plea states.
The Petitioners had further pointed out that the impugned notification was also in derogation of the office memorandum issued by the General Administration (Coordination) Department of State of Kerala, whereby EWS, who are not covered under the existing scheme of reservations, fall within the category of reservation.
On being pima facie satisfied that the Respondent is going ahead with the impugned notification excluding economic weaker sections from the zone of reservation and the last date for closure of step one process (i.e., deadline for submission of application forms) is on July 22, 2020, i.e. today, the High Court stayed the last date till the next date of hearing, i.e. August 4, 2020.
In the interregnum, the bench has asked the Respondents to file their counter affidavit.
Case Title: Ramya AK & Ors. v. Kerala HC
Case No.: WP (C) No. 14187/2020
Quorum: Justice CS Dias
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