The Supreme Court has observed that the process of conducting separate interviews for general and reserved category candidates is wholly illegal.
The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta observed thus while taking note that separate interviews were conducted in respect of appointment to the post of Assistant Professor in the Department of Education in the International Centre for Distance Education and Open Learning, Shimla.
The bench was considering an appeal filed by a person, who was appointed against post meant for OBC category, against the High Court order which allowed a writ petition filed by a candidate challenging his appointment.
In Pradeep Singh Dehal vs. State of Himachal Pradesh, the Court said:
We find that the process of conducting separate interviews for the posts of Assistant Professor under general category and OBC category is wholly illegal. Though, none of the parties have raised any dispute about it but since the same is inherently defective, we are constrained to observe so. Every person is a general category candidate. The benefit of reservation is conferred to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBC category candidates or such other category as is permissible under law. It is a consistent view of this Court starting from Indra Sawhney & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors. that if a reserved category candidate is in merit, he will occupy a general category seat.
Referring to Vikas Sankhala v. Vikas Kumar Agarwal, the bench observed that reserved category candidate can be treated as unreserved category candidate provided such candidate did not avail any other special concession.
the bench then observed that the selection process conducted by the University cannot be said to be fair and reasonable. The University was then directed to re-examine the selection process by constituting an Expert Committee
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