7 Nov 2022 11:25 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Thursday observed that Unreserved Category Candidates can be excluded from the selection process itself, if the statute disentitle their consideration for vacancies earmarked for a particular reserved category, even in the absence of suitable candidates. Division bench consisting of Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar and Justice C.S Sudha said that permitting open...
The Kerala High Court on Thursday observed that Unreserved Category Candidates can be excluded from the selection process itself, if the statute disentitle their consideration for vacancies earmarked for a particular reserved category, even in the absence of suitable candidates.
Division bench consisting of Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar and Justice C.S Sudha said that permitting open category candidates to participate in such selection process will only give them "false hopes".
The Court was hearing an appeal against a Single bench order directing for inclusion of open category candidates in the selection process initiated by Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit (the University) for appointment to the post of Assistant Professor, reserved only for Ezhava Community.
The aggrieved candidates from general category (respondents) submitted that they cannot be deprived of the opportunity to participate in the selection process, for the rules of reservation are to be applied only at the stage of making the appointment and not at the stage of the notification inviting applications.
The University argued that the open category candidates were excluded from participating in the selection process since Rule 15(a) of Kerala State and Subordinate Service Rules, 1958, excludes their consideration for the said vacancy. It was averred that in case no suitable candidate from Ezhava Community is selected even after two re-notifications, then selection shall be made from available Other Backward Classes candidates. In absence of Other Backward Classes candidates, the selection shall be made from available Scheduled Castes candidates and in their absence, the selection shall be made from available Scheduled Tribes candidates.
In this light the High Court noted that candidates belonging to open category are not entitled to be considered for appointment against a vacancy earmarked for a particular community falling under Other Backward Classes and thus it found no purpose for which they should bother themselves by participating in the selection process. It observed,
"There is, therefore, force in the contention of the University that if the University invites applications from open category to posts that are to be filled up from the reserved categories, the same would, in effect, be giving a false hope to candidates who apply for those posts. If there is a requirement for payment of fees for the purpose of preferring applications and if it is not mentioned that the vacancy for which selection process is initiated is earmarked for a particular community, those candidates belonging to open category would also be remitting fees for participating in the selection process without knowing the fact that they will not be considered for selection, irrespective of their merit. That apart, if they are not informed that they will not be considered for the vacancy earmarked for a reserved category, the efforts they would take to participate in the selection process by undertaking preparations, at times of several months, would go in vain."
Thereby, the Court, while allowing the Writ Appeal, setting aside the impugned order, directed the University to issue an erratum indicating clearly the particulars of the candidates who are entitled to apply for selection against the vacancy earmarked if no candidate is available from the Ezhava community even after successive re-notifications.
Appearance: Standing Counsel Dinesh Mathew J. Muricken for the University; Advocate M. P. Sreekrishnan for the respondents.
Case Title: Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit and Anr. v. Divyata Nedungadi alias Divya Balakrishnan and Anr.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw(Ker) 571
Click Here To Read/Download The Order