In a landmark ruling benefiting the OBC category, the Delhi High Court has said quota candidates appearing in a competitive exam for professional courses are eligible to seek admission under the general category if he/she qualifies on merit, as “efficiency was paramount”.
“A student may appear in the preliminary examination as an OBC candidate. If he qualifies under the OBC category, he may put forth his claim. However, if he secures more marks than the general candidates, he would be justified to seek admission under general category,” the court ruled.
Chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Manmohan said this while directing the CBSE and the Directorate General of Health Services to admit OBC candidate Tejpal Yadav to a medical course under general category from the next academic year. Yadav won the seat after a seven-year legal battle as he had qualified in the JEE in 2003. He moved a two-judge bench against a single-judge order, saying that he could apply only under OBC quota.
“Single judge’s interpretation defeats the very objective of the reservation policy,” the bench said. Yadav secured 49.2% marks in prelims of the All India Pre-Medical. In the mains, he scored 72.3% and got a rank of 2,965 in the general category and 1,179 in OBC category.
During counselling, he was told seats under OBC had already been filled up. Seats were available under general category but his admission letter specified that he was eligible to seek admission only under the OBC quota.
RK Saini, Yadav's lawyer, argued that since he secured 72.3% marks in mains, he qualified on the basis of merit as well.