A reserved category candidate qualifying in a competitive examination for government jobs in the general category can take the benefit of reservation to secure better service and cadre postings, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday.
Upholding the validity of a UPSC rule, a five-judge constitution bench headed by CJI K.G. Balakrishnan said, allowing such migration was to “arrest arbitrariness and to protect interests of meritorious reserved category candidates.”
The SC said “seats vacated by meritorious reserved category candidates in the general pool will be offered to general category candidates”.
The bench allowed the Centre’s petition challenging a Madras High Court order quashing the rule that allowed adjustment of vacancies in the unreserved category with that of reserved category.
The HC had held that Rule 16 (2) of the Examination Rules of the Government of India for Civil Services Examination went against SC, ST and OBC candidates and was not affirmative, progressive and pragmatic in achieving social justice.
The HC said the rule made a mockery of reservation as it actually pushed reserved category candidates out of the merit list by allowing OBC/SCT/ST candidates competing in the open category to return to the reserved category for allocation of better service.