SC rejects plea for appointing OBC candidates against posts reserved for SC/ST in Punjab : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

SC rejects plea for appointing OBC candidates against posts reserved for SC/ST in Punjab

Top courts upholds HC order refusing to direct the state government to permit interchangeability of unfilled 595 posts reserved for SC/ST candidates, to OBC category

SC rejects plea for appointing OBC candidates against posts reserved for SC/ST in Punjab

Photo for representation. — iStock



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, March 12

The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea seeking a direction that 595 unfilled posts of elementary trained teachers (ETT) of SC/ST category in Punjab be filled up with Other Backboard Classes (OBC) candidates, saying the appointing authority doesn’t have the power to do so.

“The interchangeability of the vacant unfilled posts of SC category may be possible due to not having eligible candidates by the department concerned but not by appointing authority,” a Bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice JK Maheshwari said in its March 9 verdict.

After analysing Section 7 of The Punjab Schedule Castes and Backward Classes (Reservation in Service) Act, 2006, the Bench said, it’s clear that de-reservation for the reserved vacancy by the appointing authority was restricted.

“The said de-reservation may be possibly directed by the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes if it is expedient in public interest after recording satisfaction for such de reservation. In the said contingency the department shall pass an order assigning those reasons.”

The Bench upheld the Punjab and Haryana High Court order refusing to direct the state government to permit interchangeability of unfilled 595 posts reserved for the SC/ST candidates, to OBC category.

The HC had initiated a suo motu PIL following alleged inaction of the Punjab Government in filling up of vacancies of ETT advertised on November 8, 2015 and July 30, 2016 and threat from certain OBC candidates that they would commit suicide.

A total of 4,500 and 2005 vacancies of ETT were notified under various categories inclusive of SC/ST, OBC, freedom fighter, handicapped etc. respectively.

As some SC/ST category posts remained vacant. Now, the appellants wanted the unfilled posts of SC/ST category to be filled from the eligible candidates from OBC category on the basis of interchangeability.

In 2018, the HC directed the Department of Welfare, Government of Punjab to take a decision after affording due opportunity of hearing to the applicants. However, the Department of Welfare declined to interchange the vacant post of SC/ST category to the OBC category.

Referring to the Punjab Schedule Castes and Backward Classes (Reservation in Service) Act, the top court said,”…it is clear that de-reservation of any reserved vacancy which is to be filled up by direct recruitment or by promotion cannot be done by the appointing authority.”

It said, “In case due to non-availability of the eligible candidates of any of the category, the posts remain unfilled, the appointing authority may request to the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes for de-reservation of the said unfilled vacancy. On such request after recording satisfaction, if necessary or expedient in the public interest, subject to the condition to carry forward the said vacancy against subsequent unreserved vacancy the order may be passed by the said department.”

The Bench said the issuance of such direction after six years of notifying the selection list for filling up the unfilled vacancies of SC/ST category by OBC would be wholly unjustified. The selection list prepared in the year 2016 would not survive after the lapse of a long time to fill up the vacancies after interchangeability, it said, pointing out that the unfilled posts of ETT had already been re-advertised.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


Top News

Indian national Nikhil Gupta, accused of plotting to kill Gurpatwant Pannun, extradited to US

Indian national Nikhil Gupta, accused of plotting to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, extradited to US

Gupta is currently lodged at the federal Metropolitan Detent...

‘Alarming’: Opposition jabs Punjab CM over 14 drug abuse deaths

‘Alarming’: Opposition jabs Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann over 14 drug abuse deaths

Narcotics coming via BJP-ruled Gujarat, Maha, says AAP


Cities

View All