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Quota controversy over ITAT vice president's appointment

Sunil Kumar Yadav, an ITAT member hailing from Other Backward Class (OBC), has approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) against the government's decision to appoint only general category candidates as ITAT vice president, ignoring his candidature for the post. Sumit Saxena reports...

india Updated: Jan 07, 2010 15:39 IST
Sumit Saxena

Can the Government make appointments to the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) without complying with its own reservation policy?

Sunil Kumar Yadav, an ITAT member hailing from Other Backward Class (OBC), has approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) against the government's decision to appoint only general category candidates as ITAT vice president, ignoring his candidature for the post.

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 at 17th rank. If the OBC quota rule were applied, two of the nine posts would go to OBC candidates, he said.

"I am the senior most OBC in the seniority list, but the government flouted the constitutionally binding obligation of giving reservation to OBCs in all civil appointments," Yadav said. He also added the quota rule being is followed since September 1993 after the Mandal case verdict has been violated.

Acting on Yadav's plea challenging appointments of three ITAT vice presidents, the CAT has issued notice to central government. In an interim order, the CAT has said the appointment on two of the total nine posts of vice presidents of ITAT from the general category would be subject to decision in present case.

The Centre is expected to spell out its stand on complying with reservation policy in ITAT appointments on January 11, the next date of hearing.

Yadav has contended that there has to be reservation to the extent of 27 per cent for OBC candidates in civil posts/services under government of India

In his petition, Yadav said according to the reservation law, two posts out of nine should be reserved for OBC candidates. The central government has appointed general category candidates on seats reserved for OBCs, he alleged.

Yadav alleged that the central government prepared the list of candidates without complying with the mandate of reservation for OBC citizens envisaged under articles 16(4) of the Constitution.

Yadav stated that 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.

Some Lok Sabha members have also written to Law Minister M Veerappa Moily in this regard.