The Allahabad High Court has sought from the state government the basis on which reservation in government jobs is being granted to categories like the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
The court passed the order on a petition filed by an Allahabad-based woman,Komal Singh,who had appeared in various competitive examinations.
However,her counsel,Agnihotri Kumar Tripathi,said the petition has been filed in her capacity as an Indian citizen and currently she was not supposed to appear in any competitive examination.
The petition challenges the legal viability of the UP Act No. 4 of 1994 (that pertains to granting reservation to various categories in the state government jobs).
The petitioner has sought quashing of the entire Act,which according to her is ultra vires.
The court has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Personnel),the respondents in the petition,and given them six weeks to file counter-affidavit. Two weeks further time will be given to the petitioner for rejoinder and the matter would come up for hearing on February 14,2014.
Passing the order Thursday,a Division Bench of Justices V K Shukla and Suneet Verma said: This court proceeds to direct the State government that at the point of time when it proceeds to file response,specific details shall be furnished as to in what way and manner,when the aforementioned provision (Act of 1994) had been enforced,requisite opinion has been formed that such particular category of backward class citizens are not at all adequately represented in the service of State.
The court further said: Coupled with this,full details shall also be furnished of different categories of OBC candidates vis-à-vis their representation in State Services in Group A,B,C and D,as determination of backwardness has to be objectively considered caste-wise,and after determination is made based on quantifiable data,then only the said class of citizens can be placed in Schedule I as defined in Section 2 (b) of the UP Act No. 4 of 1994.
The court also noted the contention of the petitioner that at the point of time when provisions of U P Act No. 4 of 1994 has been introduced no such exercise has been undertaken to find out as to whether in the backward class,in whose favour reservation has been recommended,are represented adequately or not.
Earlier,a similar petition,filed by Sumit Kumar Shukla and others,in connection with reservation granted to various categories in police department,had questioned the reservation policy on the same ground. The government,in its counter-affidavit,admitted there were no data as of now to indicate any particular class of citizens being left behind.