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SC rejects plea for appointing OBC candidates to vacancies meant for SC/ST

The Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking a direction that 595 unfilled posts of elementary trained teachers of SC/ST category in Punjab be filled up with OBC candidates

Supreme Court | OBC quota

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Supreme Court

The Wednesday 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 this would be wholly unjustified after six years of notifying the selection list.

A bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and J K Maheshwari upheld the Punjab and Haryana High Court order refusing to direct the state government to permit interchangeability of posts, reserved for the SC/ST candidates, to OBC category.

The apex court referred to the Punjab Schedule Castes and Backward Classes (Reservation in Service) Act and 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.

If, due to non-availability of eligible candidates of any of reserved category, the posts remain unfilled, then appointing authority like the education department may request the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes for de-reservation of the said unfilled vacancy, Justice Maheshwari, writing the judgement, said.

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, it said.

The bench said it cannot be lost sight of at this stage that the merit list was prepared as per the job advertisement of 2015-16 and after that, the interchangeability for unfilled 595 vacancies of SC/ST category has been sought.

In our considered opinion, issuance of such direction after 6 years of notifying the selection list for filling up the unfilled vacancies of SC/ST category by OBC would be wholly unjustified. In addition, 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.

It also took note of the submission that the unfilled posts of ETT have been re-advertised.

The high court had taken the suo motu cognizance of the issue after some students, belonging to the OBC category, wanted to be recruited on the unfilled posts of SC/ST category and had protested by climbing tower on account of not filling of the posts.

"The High Court has rightly observed that steps taken by the protestors were unfortunate, improper and incorrect," the apex court said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, March 09 2022. 20:51 IST