Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court bench comprising Justice Arun Monga in the case of Om Roj Vs Haryana Staff Selection Commission and others ruled that General category seats must be filled first from the merit list, followed by reserved category seats based on the assigned quota when it comes to appointments to state offices.
According to the intent of Article 16 of the Indian Constitution, regardless of whether a candidate is found to be entitled to the reservation sought by him, he has the right to be considered in an open general category.
In this case, the petitioner, an EWS candidate, applied for and passed the written exam for the position of Veterinary Livestock Development Assistant (VLDA). The last selected candidate in the general category received 70 points, while the last selected candidate in the EWS category received 58 points, according to the final results. Despite receiving 79 points, the petitioner was not selected in either category.
As a result, the petitioner filed a writ petition seeking the issuance of a mandamus writ directing the respondent to consider his claim for selection and appointment as VLDA against the general category because he received higher marks than the last selected candidate in the general category.
Because the petitioner applied under the EWS reserved category, the respondent’s Advocate General (AG) argued that she could not be considered for the general category. He was ineligible for selection in the EWS reserved category because his EWS certificate was found to be invalid.
The primary premise of reservation, according to the court, is that general category seats should be filled first from the merit list, and reserved category seats should be allotted according to the assigned quota. As a result, after the merit list for the general or open category is established, any candidate who applied under the reserved category but obtained higher marks than the last candidate picked in the general category has the right to selection and appointment in the general category.
The court also decided that declining to consider a candidate for the open or general category because he was declared ineligible for the reserve he requested contradicts the Indian Constitution’s intent in Article 16.