Wednesday, March 15, 2017

General seat vacated by quota candidate remains general: Gujarat High Court

Gujarat high court on Wednesday ruled that only a general category candidate can be appointed to a seat in open category in a government job, once it is vacated by a candidate from a reserved category.

In the instant case, a meritorious candidate from SC/ST category had first opted for appointment as a candidate in general category. But later, the candidate decided to vacate the seat after securing his/her seat in the concerned reserved category. The question arose whether the vacant seat should be filled with a candidate from reserved category or general category.

The HC has said that such a seat should be filled by a candidate of general category only, said advocate Dimple Thaker who represented the candidates.

In holding so, a bench of Chief Justice R S Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi has said that the Supreme Court's order in Jitendra Kumar Singh v/s the state of Uttar Pradesh cannot be made applicable in Gujarat. This is because the order was based on rules prevailing in UP, whereas Gujarat has different rules.

This issue has further complicated the recruitment process being undertaken by the Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC) for the posts of assistant conservator of forest (ACF) and range forest officer (RFO).

Interestingly, the forest departmnet is recruiting on these posts after a long gap of 26 years. The advertisement was issued in 2010 and recruitment took place in 2016 amid too many litigations over the issue of reservation. A major issue, that of women reservation, is yet to be decided by the court.

With the recent observation by the HC, the merit list will now be changed for the third time. Those already selected and at present under training might lose their jobs, and half a dozen new candidates might find their names on the new list. However, all appointments have been made by the HC conditionally and subject to final outcome of these multiple litigations.

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