Rules of Reservation Are Not Applied at Every Stage of Selection: Andhra Pradesh High Court

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The petitioners in the W.P. 21322 of 2019 are members of a scheduled tribe, and the petitioner in W.P. 5373 of 2020 is a visually handicapped candidate. A single-judge bench comprising if honourable Justice R. Raghunandan Rao gave disposed of both the petitions together since they raised similar objections on the rule of reservation applied for selection in group-I services.

FACTS

The Andhra Pradesh public service commission [Respondent No. 2] had issued a notification inviting applications for the post in Group-I services for total vacancies of 44 to carry forward and 125 fresh vacancies. Out of these total vacancies, 12 seats were reserved for the members of scheduled tribes, and 4 seats were reserved for disabled persons. The Selection process is done in 3 stages – preliminary examination, main examination, and interview. The preliminary stage included objective type questions. The preliminary exam was conducted, and out of 50 thousand students, only 8,351 candidates got shortlisted for the mains examination. All the petitioners were not able to qualify for the preliminary test. Therefore, the petitioners approached the court with the petition that the rule of the reservation should not only be applied after the selection is made, but it should be applied at every stage of selection.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED

The learned counsel of the petitioners contended that the ratio selected for the examination was 1:50. The same ratio should get applied for the 12 vacancies for Scheduled tribes and 4 vacancies for the visually handicapped category. Six hundred members belonging to the scheduled tribe and 200 members of the visually handicapped category should qualify for the main examination. The petitioner relied on two judgments, namely Andhra Pradesh Public Commission v. Baloji Badhavath and Buddila Srinivasa Sharma v. Chrysolite.

The respondents’ learned counsel has relied upon G.O.Ms.No.5 which states that there is a cut-off point to ensure minimum equality. The petitioners have not cleared the minimum cut off also.

COURTS ANALYSIS

After perusal of the judgments cited by the petitioners’ learned counsel, it is clear that neither of the two supports the stand of the petitioner. In the Baloji Badhavath case, the court said the rules of reservation must be applicable only when the shortlisting is complete. In the 2nd case cited, the cut-off for different categories was brought into action. The court said that neither of the cases mentioned that the rule of the reservation should be applicable at every stage of the selection process.

COURTS DECISION

The court held that the petitioners’ contentions were without merit and hence dismissed the petition without any orders as to costs.

To view the judgment, click here.


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