Coming to the rescue of a Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidate, who had cleared the Mains examination of the Uttar Pradesh Combined Upper Subordinate Services (commonly known as PCS)-2010, the Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC) to allow him to sit in the interview and either offer him a job against existing vacancy or assure him a seat in the next cycle.
The candidate was deprived of the chance to appear in the interview in connection with the PCS-2010 examinations following doubts over his caste certificate that was cancelled twice despite court’s intervention in the matter. Earlier, the court had directed the authorities concerned to expedite the matter but they were seeking more time.
Taking a serious view, however, the court refused to grant extension of time and directed the UPPSC to allow the candidate to appear in the interview and, if his marks were higher than the last selected candidate under the ST category in 2010, offer him appointment.
Two orders, pertaining to cancellation of the candidate’s caste certificates for the second time, have also been quashed.
The candidate was forced to move the high court several times as the officials across the hierarchy were not taking into account an amendment carried out by the state government in 2002, through which certain castes were included in the list of ST only for a certain number of districts within the state. The caste in this case was ‘Nayak’, which was given ST category in various districts, including Maharajganj, in which the candidate, Rakesh Kumar Nayak, resided.
Passing the order on Nayak’s petition on Monday, a division bench of Justices Sheo Kumar Singh and Rajan Roy said: “He (candidate) is entitled to the benefits of reservation available to the candidates of Scheduled Tribe category irrespective of the fact that the process of the said examination may have been completed and the appointments may have been made. The respondents cannot be allowed to take advantage of their own wrongs by taking the plea, as raised by the Commission, that the examination process was initiated way back in the year 2010. The respondents are under an obligation to make good the wrong committed by them and to rectify their mistake. The petitioner cannot be made to suffer for the wrongs done by the respondents.”
The caste certificate of ST category was issued to Nayak on November 1, 2007, by tehsildar Farenda in Maharajganj. On November 18, 2008, it was cancelled by another tehsildar on the ground that ‘Nayak’ came under the Other Backward Classes. Candidate then filed a writ in the Lucknow bench of the high court.
During proceedings, Nayak appeared in 2010 exams as ST category candidate and later qualified for the mains. But he was not allowed to sit in interview due to the uncertainty over his caste certificate.
Following high court’s directions, the State Level Scrutiny Committee (SLSC) ruled in the candidate’s favour on June 29, 2011. The UPPSC was communicated about it in September 2011 and the tehsildar restored his ST certificate on January 16, 2012.
But on February 24 and 27, 2012, the Director (Tribal Welfare) cancelled Nayak’s certificate again. Subsequently, the UPPSC issued a show-cause notice to Nayak accusing him of misrepresentation and fraud. As the matter was taking long, the candidate prayed for a provisional candidature. However, no relief was granted. Even though the Director’s order was stayed by the high court, the SLSC again cancelled his certificate on April 26, 2012. Both the orders have now been quashed.
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