The Supreme Court has held that a person belonging to the SC, ST or Backward Classes category can contest elections in posts reserved for the general category.
“The expression belonging to the general category wherever employed means the seats or offices earmarked for persons belonging to all categories irrespective of their caste, class or community or tribe. The general category seats are open seats available for all candidates who are otherwise qualified to contest to that office,” a bench of Justices L.S. Panta and B. Sudershan Reddy observed.
The bench passed the observation while quashing a Punjab and Haryana High Court judgement which had ruled that a person belonging to the SC, ST or Backward Classes cannot contest for the post of the president of Hissar Municipal Council reserved for the general category post.
In this case Bihari Lal Rada, a Backward Class candidate, was elected as president of the Municipal Council in 2005. The election was set aside by the HC on a petition by Anil Jain, a general category candidate who was defeated in the election.