Age, fee relaxation for SC/ST, OBC in general category too: SC
The Supreme Court has held that reserved candidates like SC/STs, OBCs
can be provided age relaxation and fee concession for selection in
government jobs under general category even after the reserved quota
has been filled.
However, such relaxation can be extended provided the reserved
candidates secured competing or more marks with the general candidates
in preliminary or qualifying exams for final selection.
The apex court said such relaxation cannot be termed as violative of
the Constitutional provisions of equality or the norm that
reservations in general category should not exceed the 50 per cent
quota fixed by it in the Indra Sawhney case.
"Reservations are a mode to achieve the equality of opportunity
guaranteed under Article 16 (1) of the Constitution of India.
Concessions and relaxations in fee or age provided to the reserved
category candidates to enable them to compete and seek benefit of
reservation is merely an aid to reservation.
"The concessions and relaxations place the candidates at par with
general category candidates. It is only thereafter that the merit of
the candidates is to be determined without any further concessions in
favour of the reserved category candidates," a bench of Justices Tarun
Chatterjee and Surinder Singh Nijjar said in a judgement.
The apex court passed the judgement while upholding the validity of
the selection process conducted by Uttar Pradesh government in 2000
for recruitment of police sub inspectors. In the selection process,
the government had permitted reserved candidates to appear for
selection in general category by permitting them to avail age
However, the move was opposed by general category candidates on the
ground that they cannot enjoy double benefit as they have already been
granted fee and age relaxation in reserved candidates category.
The Allahabad High Court had upheld the government's action, after
which the aggrieved general candidates had appealed in the apex court.
Dismissing the appeal, the apex court said reserved category
candidates have not been given any advantage in the selection process
as all the candidates had to appear in the same written test and face
the same interview which is decided on the basis of merit.
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