The Allahabad High Court has ruled that a member of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) in one state cannot enjoy the benefit of reservation upon moving to another state unless that person’s Tribe or community is specifically notified under the reserved category in the latter state.
A division bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Yashwant Varma passed an order on October 26 , while disposing of a special appeal filed by one Surendra Kumar Kanwat of Rajasthan.
Kanwat had first challenged the refusal to his application for an admission to a post-graduate course in UP on September 15 but a single-judge bench of the court had dismissed his petition. Upholding the order, the division bench, too, ruled out reservation benefit to Kanwat, who belongs to the Meena caste of the Scheduled Tribe, which is notified for reservation benefits in Rajasthan, the petitioner’s parent state.
Incidentally, Kanwat had completed his MBBS course from Saifai Medical College (2006-07 to 2012-13) after securing admission under the ST quota, an indication of an institutional oversight at the time.
The single-judge bench order had noted that Kanwat had neither completely filled in his proforma nor had explained his migration from Rajasthan to Uttar Pradesh, while undertaking counselling for the post-graduate medical course. Although Kanwat had produced a certificate, attested by the district collector of Alwar in Rajasthan, regarding his caste, he had not established his migration, the single-judge bench had said while dismissing the petition.
The division bench, while hearing the special petition, specifically considered the question as to whether a person enjoying reserved category benefit under the ST category in one state can continue to do the same in another state.
Citing Supreme Court rulings, the court said that a person from a certain category was free to migrate from one state to another, but he could not enjoy the benefits of reservation in the other state unless the caste (or sub-caste) to which he belonged was specifically mentioned in the list of reserved category in that particular state.
On the appellant’s contention that at least nine teachers had been granted jobs under similar circumstances in the past, the court said: “The fact that benefits had in the past been granted to some teachers in certain circumstances cannot deviate from the Constitutional position.”