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Backward Class Reservation Is Religion Neutral; Person In 'Jat Sikh' Category Entitled To OBC Reservation : Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

Shayesta Nazir
21 Jun 2019 5:20 AM GMT
Backward Class Reservation Is Religion Neutral; Person In Jat Sikh Category Entitled To OBC Reservation : Delhi HC [Read Judgment]
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"The enlistment of the backward class for the purposes of grant of reservation is religion neutral. That being the position, merely because the respondent's religion i.e. Sikhism was mentioned in class certificate issued to the respondent, it did not take way the fact that he belonged to the "JAT Community" which is a reserved class"
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In a huge relief to a civil service aspirant who was not allocated Indian Revenue Service in Civil Services examination, 2017, Delhi High Court has held that persons professing Sikh religion belonging to 'Jat' community in the State of Rajasthan (except Bharatpur & Dhaulpur Districts) are entitled to get Backward Class Certificate. However, court added that before issuance of such certificate it should be ensured that the person concerned is a permanent resident of that State.

In case of migrant OBCs, who have migrated from one state to another, the OBC certificate may be issued on the production of a Certificate issued to his father by the prescribed authority of the State of his father's origin after satisfying about the genuineness of the certificate issued to his father by the State of his origin, the Court added.

The Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar was hearing a petition filed by Union of India against the order dated 11.03.2019 passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal Principal Bench, which had allowed the application filed by respondent Anuragbachan Singh.

Singh had approached CAT with his grievance that even though he belonged to the OBC category/ 'JAT' community, and had secured the overall rank of 673 in Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted in the year 2017, he had not been allocated to a service and another candidate-who had secured the rank of 675 belonging to the OBC Category- was allocated to the Indian Revenue Service.

The reason given by the Centre for not selecting Singh as an OBC candidate was that the certificate that he produced, as issued by the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Sri Ganganagar (Rajasthan) described him as belonging to "JAT SIKH" Community.

The stand taken by Union was that "JAT SIKH" is not one of the class enlisted as a backward community in the central list for the State of Rajasthan. On the other hand, the case of Singh was that the caste "JAT" is enlisted as a backward class, and merely because the certificate described him as "JAT SIKH" (since he follows the Sikh religion), it would not take away the fact that he belonged to the JAT Community, which is a backward class.

Court said that there is no dispute that the "JAT Community" is enlisted as backward class, and if the candidature of the respondent had been considered as falling in the OBC category, he was meritorious enough to be allocated to the service in the CSE 2017.

It referred to the notification which CAT had relied on while allowing the original application which said that as regards inclusion of any Caste/Community in the Central Lists of OBCs, there is no bar of religion and as such any caste/community irrespective of its religion can be considered for inclusion in the Central Lists of OBCs provided the community otherwise fulfills the criteria of Social, Educational and Economic backwardness.

Court observed thus while dismissing the petition:

"The enlistment of the backward class for the purposes of grant of reservation is religion neutral. That being the position, merely because the respondent's religion i.e. Sikhism was mentioned in class certificate issued to the respondent, it did not take way the fact that he belonged to the "JAT Community" which is a reserved class. Moreover the same authority, namely, the SDM, Sri Ganganagar (Rajasthan) has issued the subsequent class certificate, which leaves no manner of doubt that the respondent belongs to the "JAT Community" which is a reserved class in the Central List for the State of Rajasthan, and falls in the Central List of OBC."

Click Here To Download Judgment

[Read Judgment]

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