SC/ST from other states eligible for Delhi govt job quota: HC

Court has allowed SC/ST candidates from other states to avail reservation benefits here.

Written by Jayant Sriram | New Delhi | Published: September 14, 2012 12:33:15 am

The Delhi High Court has increased the competition pool,allowing Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) candidates from other states to avail of reservation benefits for jobs in Delhi.

This is likely to make it a lot harder for domicile SC/ST citizens from the national capital to get Delhi government jobs.

Headed by Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri,a full bench comprising Justice Ravindra Bhatt and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw overturned an order passed by a division bench last year.

The division bench held that candidates who acquire SC/ST certificates in Delhi by virtue of a caste document held by their parents in another state cannot — as a matter of right — claim reservation in Delhi government jobs.

The full bench order said this rule could be applied to candidates who migrated from one state to another,but could not apply to a candidate who migrated from a state to a Union territory such as Delhi.

The bench also said the Delhi government could appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn the order since the issues dealt with were of great importance.

In case of states,a Presidential order notifies the SC/STs within a state’s territory based on representation that these communities are not adequately represented in its services. Several judgments held that SC/ST citizens moving from one state to another cannot claim reservation benefits because this exercise of notification is region-specific.

The full bench gave precedence to a Supreme Court ruling in a similar case relating to government jobs in Pondicherry (referred to as Pushpa).

The apex court had upheld the policy of the Pondicherry government to reserve SC/ST seats to even those candidates who came from other states. The government had proceeded on the basis that since Central government jobs were open to all SC/ST candidates irrespective of their states,it should apply for jobs with a Union territory as well.

“Pondicherry has throughout been proceeding on the basis that being a Union territory,all orders regarding reservation for SC/ST in respect of posts/services under the Central government are applicable to posts/services under the Pondicherry administration as well,” the judgment reads.

A later judgment of the Delhi High Court questioned the apex court’s order. But the full bench held that it could not have “corrected” the order as it was passed by a smaller bench of two judges,while the apex court decision was passed by a three-judge bench.

“This court is bound by the doctrine of precedent,and… has to follow the decision in Pushpa,as it deals squarely with the issue concerning status of citizens notified as scheduled castes from a state to a Union territory,it was not open,as it is not open to this court even today,to disregard Pushpa,” the judgment says.

“The ruling in Pushpa is clear that if the resident of a state,whose caste is notified as scheduled caste or scheduled tribe,moves to a Union territory,he carries with him the right to claim that benefit,in relation to the Union territory,even though if he moves to another state,he is denied such benefit,” it says.

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