Categorization As General Category Candidate Was An Error: Gauhati HC Directs Appointment Of SC Woman In Decade-Old Case
The Gauhati High Court in a decade old case has directed the appointment of an SC (Scheduled Caste) woman in any existing or future vacancy as she was wrongly categorized under the General Category (Unreserved).
The issue involved was with regard to the assertion made by the petitioner that she belonged to the SC Community and had participated in a recruitment process initiated vide an advertisement for appointment as Ward Girls in the Gauhati Medical College.
A Single Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Medhi held, “… this Court is of the unhesitant opinion that categorization of the petitioner as a General Category candidate (Unreserved) is an error apparent on the face of the records. This Court is therefore of the opinion that a case for interference is made out.”
The Bench clarified that age bar would not apply in the case as the petitioner was wrongfully denied of her appointment in spite of securing marks which would lead to an appointment if she was properly categorized as an SC category.
Advocate Z. Hussain appeared for the petitioner while Standing Counsel D. Borah appeared for the respondents.
Brief Facts -
Precisely, the grievance in this case was that one candidate securing less marks was given the benefit of the appointment and the petitioner who had got more marks was denied the said benefit by terming her to be a General Category Candidate. When such a matter had come up for consideration, the court had noticed that the petition was pending for more than a decade in spite of which, the records of the case were not produced and hence, the court had granted a final opportunity to the Standing Counsel to produce the records.
It was submitted that the records, as such could not be traced out, however, whatever documents available, were transmitted to her. A recruitment process was initiated for filling up certain numbers of posts in the Gauhati Medical College which included 15 numbers of posts of Ward Girls. The petitioner who claimed to be belonging to the SC Community, had the requisite qualification and participated in the said process. The grievance of the petitioner was that though she had applied under the category of SC, she was treated as a General (Unreserved) category candidate and in the said process, was deprived from appointment in the selection process.
The High Court in view of the above facts observed, “The issue which has fallen for determination is with regard to the action of the respondents in treating the petitioner as a General (Un-reserved) category candidate qua the selection process for filling up amongst others, 15 numbers of posts of Ward Girls in the Gauhati Medical College Hospital.”
The Court said that there is no dispute with regard to the category of the petitioner which is SC and it is clear that the petitioner has been treated to be a General (Unreserved) Category candidate and therefore in spite of securing more marks than the SC candidate who was selected, she did not get the benefit of appointment.
“This Court is also of the view that when the petitioner was belonging to the SC category which is granted several relaxation and benefits, there is no reason to assume that she had applied as a General Category candidate. There is also no rebuttal of the fact that the petitioner is an SC candidate and there is also no assertion in the affidavit-in-opposition that she had applied as the General Category candidate”, further noted the Court.
The Court was of the view that the one who was appointed in the year 2012 has been rendering her service for more than a decade and no fault can be attributed to her for the error committed by the authorities.
“… without disturbing the services of the private respondents, it is directed that the petitioner be considered and appointed in any existing vacancy of Ward Girl or in any vacancies which would occur in the immediate future. Such appointment would be on the strength of her selection in the duly conducted recruitment process”, ordered the Court.
The Court also clarified that the age bar would not apply in the case as the petitioner was wrongfully denied of her appointment in spite of securing marks which would lead to an appointment if she was properly categorized as an SC category.
Accordingly, the High Court allowed the writ petition.
Cause Title- Minakshi Medhi v. The State of Assam and Ors. (Neutral Citation: GAHC010122362012)