Ruling that the OBC quota policy is applicable only for fresh appointments, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has said the benefit cannot be claimed for posts that are filled by promotion.
The ruling came from a CAT bench of chairman VK Bali and vice-chairman LK Joshi on a petition by Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) member Sunil Kumar Yadav, who complained that the government was not following the OBC quota policy for filling the posts of ITAT vice-presidents.
In his petition, Yadav pointed out that, according to a seniority list of ITAT members released on February 2, 2009, for appointments of nine vice-presidents; his name was the 17th. If the OBC quota rule were applied, two of the nine posts would go to OBC candidates, he had contended.
However, rejecting his plea, the CAT said OBC reservation benefits would not apply in filling the key posts, as these were appointments by promotions and not direct recruitments.
According to relevant government rules, reservation will be applicable only for direct recruitment and not in case of promotion, CAT emphasised.
"It is conceded position that, if at all 27% reservation is to be made for candidates belonging to OBC category, it would be applicable only as regards direct recruitment and not promotion," the CAT said.
Explaining what constituted a promotional appointment, the bench said: "If the list of candidates called for selection was only of serving employees and no claim of any outsider was considered, the same is not a direct recruitment but selection and appointment on the basis of promotion."
In his petition, Yadav alleged that the central government prepared the list of candidates for ITAT vice-presidents without complying with the mandate of reservation for OBC citizens envisaged under articles 16(4) of the Constitution.
Yadav had said the post of vice-president is a civil post, and is not classified as, scientific or technical post, which is out of the purview of reservation law.