When candidates from the Other Backward Class (OBC) category prove more deserving than the last of the general category candidates appointed, the Supreme Court declared on Thursday that they must be compensated against the general category.
In such circumstances, the supreme court stated, OBC candidates’ appointments could not have been weighed against the seats available in the restricted category. As a result, the highest court stated that after examining their appointments in the general category, the reserved category seats must be filled on merit from and among the remaining reserved category candidates.
Two OBC candidates are looking for work in BSNL
When dealing with a matter of two OBC category candidates seeking jobs in the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, a bench of Justices M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna relied on multiple Supreme Court rulings, including Indra Sawhney Versus Union of India of 1992, often known as the Mandal Commission verdict (BSNL).
The top court, relying on the verdicts, accepted the arguments of senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who represented a quota candidate, that the reserved category candidates who scored higher than the last candidate in the general category would have to be adjusted against the general category quota and would have to be considered in the general category pool, requiring the remaining reserved category candidates to be appointed.
“Applying the law laid down by this Court in the decisions to the facts of the case at hand, it is noted that the aforesaid two candidates, namely, Alok Kumar Yadav and Dinesh Kumar, belonging to the OBC category, were required to be adjusted against the general category as admittedly they were more meritorious than the last of the general category candidates appointed and that their appointments could not have been considered against the seats meant for the general category,” the bench said.
“As a result, after considering their appointments in the general category, the reserved category seats have to be filled from and among the remaining reserved category candidates on merit, such as respondent No.1 above),” it stated.
The Bench went on to say that if such a system had been followed, the original petitioner, respondent No. 1 (Sandeep Choudhary), would have been selected on merit to the reserved category seats created under the foregoing method.
Not to throw the selection process off
The bench stated that the Rajasthan High Court made no error in observing and holding that the aforementioned two candidates, namely Alok Kumar Yadav and Dinesh Kumar, would have to be adjusted against the general category candidates, and that respondent No. 1, who was a reserved category candidate and was a Sr. No. 1 on the reserved category waiting list, was to be appointed.
It did say, however, that by reshuffling and inserting two OBC candidates onto the general category select list, two general category candidates already appointed would have to be expelled and/or removed, who has been working for a long time, potentially upsetting the entire selection process.
“Therefore, to strike a balance and ensure that the two general category candidates who have already been appointed will not have to be removed, and that respondent No.1 – original applicant being a reserved category candidate also gets accommodated, if he is so appointed, in the exercise of the powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, we propose to pass an order that on reshuffling and respondent No.1 – original applicant being the appointee.
It was ordered that the two reserved-category applicants, Alok Kumar Yadav and Dinesh Kumar, be considered as general-category candidates and that two general-category candidates who had previously been appointed not be removed.
According to the highest court, respondent No. 1 (Sandeep Choudhary) will be given seniority starting from the day the general category candidates were appointed, who had less merit than the aforementioned two reserved category candidates, Alok Kumar Yadav and Dinesh Kumar.
The BSNL has petitioned the Supreme Court, claiming that the Rajasthan High Court ordered it to consider appointing Choudhary in the reserved category.
The lawsuit concerns the recruitment of Telecom Technical Assistants (TTAs) in accordance with BSNL’s announcement dated October 6, 2008, which was issued for the purpose of filling TTA positions.
The appointment was to be made through a direct recruitment process in the Rajasthan Telecom Circle, which included an open competitive test.