The Supreme Court has said that reservation granted to people from the socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs) cannot be denied on a minor pretext.
While observing that the very objective of providing reservation was to remove inequality in public employment faced by SEBCs due to centuries of oppression and deprivation, a bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice V Gopala Gowda set aside a Delhi High Court order which rejected a petitioner’s plea seeking appointment as nurse in Delhi government hospital because he failed to submit his Other Backward Caste (OBC) certificate on time.
“The Constitutional concept of reservation envisaged in the Preamble as well as Articles 14, 15, 16 and 39A of the Directive Principles of State Policy is to achieve the concept of giving equal opportunity to all sections of the society,” the bench said, terming the high court division bench order as erroneous. The petitioner, Ram Kumar Gijroya, appeared for staff nurse examination conducted by the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board in 2008.
After having appeared in the examination, he was shortlisted for selection but his name did not appear in the final list. On inquiry, he was told that he was not selected because he failed to furnish his OBC certificate before the cut-off date. Gijroya approached the Delhi High Court where a single judge ordered the Delhi government to reconsider his application within one month. On appeal, the division bench, however, held since the appellant applied for OBC certificate only 10 days prior to the cut off date, no case for grant of relief was made out in his favour.