Reservation| No Indefeasible Right To Be Appointed At Higher Judicial Service: Delhi HC Dismisses General Category Man’s Plea
The Delhi High Court dismissed the writ petition filed by a man belonging to the General category against the reservation holding that the petitioner does not have any indefeasible right to be appointed to the Delhi Higher Judicial Service (DHJS).
The petitioner sought to be appointed as a judicial officer under DJHS and prayed for the de-reservation of the seats meant for the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The Division Bench comprising Justice Vibhu Bakhru and Justice Amit Mahajan held, “The petitioner does not have any indefeasible right to be appointed to the Delhi Higher Judicial Service. We are unable to accept that any order or direction requires to be issued to the respondents for undertaking any exercise for de-reservation of vacancies reserved for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes /Scheduled Tribes. In the event any such de-reservation of reserved vacancies is considered necessary by the respondents, on account of the same remaining unfilled over a long period of time, for want of the candidates meeting the qualifying criteria, the respondents may undertake the exercise for de-reserving such vacancies.”
The Bench further observed that in the event any such vacancies are de-reserved, the same would be available for being filled pursuant to the selection exercise conducted in the future.
Senior Advocate Ajit Kumar Sinha appeared for the petitioner while Advocate Amit George represented the respondents.
In this case, the respondent (DHC) had issued the impugned advertisement inviting online applications from eligible candidates for filling up 45 vacancies (43 existing vacancies and 02 anticipated vacancies) by way of direct recruitment to the DHJS. The candidates qualifying for the preliminary examination would be eligible to appear for the DHJS Mains Examination (Written) and those candidates, who qualified for the said examination, were admitted for the viva voce test.
The petitioner was aggrieved by not being selected for the Delhi Higher Judicial Service. Therefore, he raised several challenges to the process and the distribution of vacancies, for seeking an appointment in the said service. The matter was thereafter before the High Court.
The principal question before the Court was whether the petitioner was having any right to seek appointment to the DHJS against unfilled vacancy reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates by insisting that the same be de-reserved and added to the vacancies for the general category candidates.
The High Court after considering the aforesaid question noted, “The petitioner cannot be permitted to challenge the notification dated 13.10.2022 after being unsuccessful in being selected. The Supreme Court in the case of Ramesh Chandra Shah and Ors. v. Anil Joshi and Ors.: (2013) 11 SCC 309 held that the candidates, who had participated in the selection process but were unsuccessful, are disentitled to challenge the selection process and seek any relief under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The court held that they were “deemed to have waived their right to challenge the advertisement and the procedure of selection”
The Court further noted that the petitioner cannot claim, as a matter of right, that the vacancies reserved for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes candidates be de-reserved.
“In any view, such vacancies cannot be made available for the selection process that commenced pursuant to the impugned advertisement. The vacancies, as advertised by the impugned notification, cannot be increased by diverting vacancies earmarked for the reserved category”, the Court said.
It was also asserted by the Court that the petitioner’s contention that he is entitled to be considered for appointment as he belongs to the EWS is unmerited and that the impugned advertisement did not contain any such reservation for the EWS category.
Accordingly, the Court dismissed the petition.
Cause Title- Rabindra Tiwary v. Lt. Governor, Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Anr.