SC dismisses UP Govt’s appeal against Allahabad HC’s direction to provide reservation for freedom fighters’ dependents in letter and spirit

SC dismisses UP Govt’s appeal against Allahabad HC’s direction to provide reservation for freedom fighters’ dependents in letter and spirit

Supreme Court’s Vacation Bench comprising Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre and Ashok Bhushan today dismissed Uttar Pradesh Government’s SLP against the direction issued by the Allahabad High Court in 2013 to provide job reservation for the dependents of freedom fighters in letter and spirit.

Justices B Amit Sthalekar and Vineet Saran, in their 2013 judgment, had directed the Uttar Pradesh Government, to apply the principle of rounding off in the quota of dependants of freedom fighters in the Combined/Upper Subordinate Services Examination, 2009 and allocate posts in the category of dependents of freedom fighters for the post of Assistant Commissioner (Trade Tax).

The plea of the petitioner, Anoop Mishra, before the high court was that the reservation quota fixed for dependents of freedom fighters was 2 per cent, and that this reservation was to be applied horizontally and not vertically. His contention was that the number of posts of Assistant Commissioner (Trade/Commercial Tax) was 134 and by applying the reservation quota of 2 per cent for dependents of freedom fighters, the figure comes to 2.68 and if the .5 and above is rounded off to 1, the total number of posts available under the dependents of freedom fighters quota would be three posts.

Mishra contended that the U.P.Public Service Commission, however, illegally offered only two posts, which is against the spirit of the reservation policy applicable to the reserved category. Mishra had missed appointment by a narrow margin of only 0.82 marks which is less than 1 mark, if the minimum marks obtained by the last selected candidate for the post of Assistant Commissioner (Trade Tax) in the dependents of freedom fighters category is taken into consideration.

The state Government had contended that the quota of dependents of freedom fighters is only two per cent, and if 2.68 per cent is rounded off and treated as three posts, the resultant figure would exceed two per cent quota fixed for this category.

Mishra had also challenged the state Government’s refusal to apply the principle of rounding off on the plea that out of 134 posts of Assistant Commissioner (Trade Tax), only 121 persons had joined, and therefore, in the 2009 Batch examination, there were vacancies to be filled, and he could be considered for appointment.

Advocate Irshad Ahmad appeared for the Uttar Pradesh Government, while senior advocate, Jitendra Mohan Sharma, assisted by advocates, Saurav Singh Chauhan and SB Dikshit, appeared for Mishra and other respondents.