Apex court to hear plea against order to redraw UPSC merit list

Centre: quota for reserved categories remains unchanged
Reserved category persons selected on general standards get higher preference of service
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on May 19 a petition from the Centre against a Madras High Court judgment directing the Union Public Service Commission to re-draw the merit list of the 2005 Civil Services examination ignoring Rule 16 (2) of the Central Civil Services examination and treating reserved candidates selected the under merit as unreserved candidates.
A Bench consisting of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices H.K. Sema and P.P. Naolekar posted the matter before the vacation court after Additional Solicitor-General Vikas Singh made a mention about the filing of the appeal.
Rule 16 (2) says: “While making service allocation, candidates belonging to SC/ST or OBCs recommended against unreserved candidates may be adjusted against reserved vacancies by the government if by this process they get a service of higher choice in the order of their preference.”
The High Court struck down this rule, saying “when a post is reserved, the question of allotting a service in the reserved category to a person who has been included in the unreserved merit list, does not at all arise. It amounts to reducing the number of posts reserved for SC/ST/OBC and adding the same number of posts to the unreserved category, thus making a mockery of the entire rule of reservation.”
Assailing the March 20 judgment, the Centre said: “The rule ensures that persons belonging to the reserved category selected on general standards are able to get a higher preference of service and are not placed at a disadvantageous position with respect to other candidates of their community. In the process, the extent of reservation to be made in respect of such categories of persons remains unchanged.”
It said: “If the benefit of reservation is denied to an SC/ST/OBC candidate who qualifies on merit, then there can be a situation where a lower ranked OBC candidate gets allocated to a better service than a higher ranked OBC candidate only because the higher ranked candidate performed well enough to qualify in the general/unreserved category. Such a situation is anomalous.”
J. Venkatesan
Saturday, May 17, 2008 http://www.hindu.com

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