28 April 2022 6:45 AM GMT
The Rajasthan High Court has dismissed a widow's challenge to the validity of the category-wise merit list prepared after preliminary examinations for recruitment to the post of Civil Judge (Junior Division) and Judicial Magistrate in the Rajasthan Judicial Services.The Petitioner was aggrieved over her non-inclusion by giving benefit of horizontal reservation as...
"Challenge to the reservation policy and prescription as provided under the advertisement cannot be permitted to be challenged at the instance of unsuccessful candidates after the candidate has been declared unsuccessful," division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Sameer Jain said while dismissing the petition as it being sans substratum.
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The alternative ground pleaded by the Petitioner was that the marks obtained by her are higher than the cut-off marks in the general category by operating horizontal reservation for widow, applying the rule of migration of the reserved category candidate by virtue of merit into general category.
The court observed that no horizontal reservation was provided for widows in the ST category in respect of vacancies of the year 2020 and 2021. The court added that the petitioner, therefore, if not satisfied with this reservation policy, was required to challenge the rule or the advertisement in the beginning of the process of selection when the advertisement was issued on 22.07.2021.
The court noted that the petitioner, however, did not challenge the said prescription of rule and advertisement but participated in the process of selection. The court also noted that having so participated, now the petitioner after declaration of the results of the preliminary examination, is precluded from challenging the selection process insofar as policy and prescription of reservation is concerned. This legal position is no longer res integra and has been settled by series of judicial pronouncements, added the court.
Further, the court relied on Rajasthan Public Sevice Commission & Ors. v. Megha Sharma and Ors. , Dharamveer Tholia & Ors. v. State of Rajasthan & Ors.  and Khushi Ram Gurjar v. Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur  of this court on the question whether at this stage the rule of migration on the basis of merit from one category to the other category would be permissible. In these cases, it was held that the rule of migration will be applicable only at the time of final selection for preparation of final merit list and not before that.
Moreover, it was also observed by the court that the rule of migration of reserved category candidate from his/her own category to general category to be placed in the merit list would be applicable while preparing final merit list and not when the exercise of shortlisting of candidates category wise is done at the stage of screening by way of preliminary examinations, as has been done in the present case.
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Adv. Girraj P. Sharma appeared on behalf of the petitioner while Sr. Adv. A.K. Sharma assisted by Adv. Vishnu Kant Sharma appeared on behalf of the respondents.
Case Title: Sunita Meena v. Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur through its Registrar General & Anr.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 151
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