The Allahabad High Court has held that cut-off marks for reserved category in a recruitment process cannot be decreased in a later stage just because some vacancies of reserved quota remained unfilled.
Dismissing a petition filed by Bhuvnesh Pachauri, an unsuccessful candidate belonging to the "Dependents of Freedom Fighters" (General) category, Justice Siddharth observed, "Petitioner participated in recruitment process and later challenged select list and prayed that cut-off marks for reserved category should be lowered to fill vacant posts."
However, once the petitioner agreed to the procedure of selection but was unsuccessful, he cannot turn around and protest against the terms of the process of selection, the court said.
Pachauri had applied for the post of junior engineer (Civil) for which an advertisement was issued by the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam on October 3, 2013.
He appeared in the written examination in 2014 after which only five candidates belonging to that category were called to appear in the interview.
The petitioner's contention was that according to law, 2 per cent seats were required to be reserved for the "Dependents of Freedom Fighters".
The total seats advertised were 469, hence 9 posts were required to be reserved for the aforesaid category, but only five candidates were invited for interview and all of them were selected, he claimed.
UP Jal Nigam's argument was that the cut-off marks for qualifying for the interview was fixed as 42, but the petitioner obtained only 34 marks and therefore he was not called for the interview.
Likewise, the remaining four posts remained unfilled because no one obtained the cut-off marks.
The court after hearing both the parties observed, "No relief can be granted to the petitioner regarding his prayer for lowering of cut-off marks for his social category of reservation. However, it is open for the petitioner to apply for reserved vacancies carried over for the next recruitment as per state reservation law.
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