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A Candidate Once Availed Age Relaxation For Reserved Category Can't Later Migrate To General Category: SC [Read Judgment]

Mehal Jain
4 July 2019 4:30 PM GMT
A Candidate Once Availed Age Relaxation For Reserved Category Cant Later Migrate To General Category: SC [Read Judgment]
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"We are of the view that the age relaxation granted to the candidates belonging to SC/ST and SEBC category in the instant case is an incident of reservation under Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India,"

The Supreme Court on Thursday held that a candidate who has availed of an age relaxation in a selection process as a result of belonging to a reserved category, thereafter, cannot seek to be accommodated in/or migrated to the general category seat. The bench of Justices Abdul Nazeer and Indira Banerjee noted that by virtue of Article 16(4), a state is empowered to make reservation...

The Supreme Court on Thursday held that a candidate who has availed of an age relaxation in a selection process as a result of belonging to a reserved category, thereafter, cannot seek to be accommodated in/or migrated to the general category seat.

The bench of Justices Abdul Nazeer and Indira Banerjee noted that by virtue of Article 16(4), a state is empowered to make reservation in appointments in favour of any backward class of citizens which is inadequately represented in public employment, and therefore, a candidate who was granted the age relaxation on account of belonging to the reserved categories cannot claim consideration as a general candidate.

Besides, the enabling provision being Article 16(4), the manner and the extent of reservation to be provided is to be deciphered from the orders of the state government. The bench appreciated the Gujarat government circulars of January, 2000 and July, 2004 which stipulated a policy for the creation of quota for the SC/ST and the OBC.

"We are of the view that the age relaxation granted to the candidates belonging to SC/ST and SEBC category in the instant case is an incident of reservation under Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India," the bench said.

The top court said that in the advertisement issued by the GPSC in March, 2010 for 167 posts of Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) and Range Forest Officer (RFO), upper age limit relaxation was allowed only to the SC/ST and SEBC candidates.

"It was also specifically stated in the advertisement that if any candidate belonging to a reserved category who applies in the open category, such candidate would not get the benefit of age relaxation," the court noted.

"The state government has clarified that when a relaxed standard is applied in selecting a candidate for SC/ST, SEBC category in the age limit, experience, qualification, permitting number of chances in the written examination etc., then candidate of such category selected in the said manner, shall have to be considered only against his/her reserved post. Such a candidate would be deemed as unavailable for consideration against unreserved post," the bench has observed.

In doing so, the apex court dismissed the challenge to the Gujarat High Court decision vide which it upheld the Gujarat Public Service Commission selection process.  

Click here to download the Judgment

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