India

Favoritism crosses all limits in selection lists, even physically challenged not spared

golden yug
[ May 22, 2017 ] Discrimination in J&K is well known phenomenon as often voice against it is raised whenever a selection list is out by any of the Govt departments but unfortunately successive Govt never tried to address the issue and it continues till now. In a recent case , Court had to intervene to ensure justice to a handicapped Patwari who was eligible for selection but ignored by BOPEE and Commissioner Secretary Revenue due to their callous attitude and deliberate attempt to deny justice to eligible candidate to accommodate the candidate of their choice. Reservation for backward classes of citizens (SCs, STs and OBCs) is called vertical reservation and the reservation for categories such as persons with disabilities and ex-servicemen is called horizontal reservation. Horizontal reservation cuts across vertical reservation (in what is called inter-locking reservation) and persons selected against the quota for persons with disabilities have to be placed in the appropriate category viz.SC/ST/OBC/General candidates depending upon the category to which they belong in the roster meant for reservation of SCs/STs/OBCs. To illustrate, if in a given year there are two vacancies reserved for the persons with disabilities and out of two persons with disabilities appointed, one belongs to a Scheduled Caste and the other to general category then the disabled SC candidate shall be adjusted against the SC point in the reservation roster and the general candidate against unreserved point in the relevant reservation roster. In case none of the vacancies falls on point reserved for the SCs, the disabled candidate belonging to SC shall be adjusted in future against the next available vacancy reserved for SCs.J&K High Court in case of Gurmeet Singh, age 38 years, S/o Ujjagar Singh, R/o Link Road, Tali Morh Miran Sahib, Tehsil RS Pura, District Jammu versus State of Jammu and Kashmir through Commissioner/ Secretary to Government, Revenue Department, Civil Secretariat, Jammu/Srinagar, Chairman, Board of Professional Entrance Examinations commanding the respondents to declare the result of the petitioner with regard to the written examination in which the petitioner has appeared and participated for undergoing the Patwari Training. The petitioner claims to be a physically challenged person. He applied for Patwari Training Course under the physically challenged category Code 18, in terms of Notification dated" 09-05-2012 .Common Entrance Test was conducted on 15.07.2012 and the petitioner also participated in the same. The select list of candidates issued, however no candidate under the physically challenged category Code 18, was shown to have been selected. The information sought for, under Right of Information Act, did not evoke any response. Contending that physically challenged persons are entitled to 6/% Horizontal reservation and the claim of such candidates should be considered, the instant writ petition has been filed. However Commissioner Secretary said that the Government acting upon the merit list submitted by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of Professional Entrance Examination made the selection of the 1500 candidates vide Government Order No. 201-Rev(NG) of 2012 dated 13.08.2012.That in terms of selection list made available by the Board of Professional Entrance Examination as well as Intimated vide their letter No. BOPEE/Lit/27/2016 dated 30.12.2016, the petitioner also appeared in the said examination under Roll No. 161912, and was ranking at S.No. 5021. That it is clear that the petitioner was for below in the merit of the candidates selected in terms of the test conducted by the Board of Professional Entrance Examination in Jammu District where there were only 126 vacancies available and the petitioner in the section list ranked at S. No. 5021 thus, v/as not selected for undergoing Patwar training."On the contrary, Chairman, Board of professional Entrance Examination answering respondent after conducting the Common Entrance Test (CET) for selection Patwar trainings held on 15.07.2012 notified the District-Wise merit list for Kashmir Division and for Jammu Division. Thereafter, the answering respondent bearing its notification No. 38-BOPEE of 2012 dated 17-07-2012 forwarded the merit list to the concerned Administrative Department for information and further course of action at their end. The list also enclosed the candidates who to applied under physically challenged category i.e. category code 18. It is, therefore, evident from the statement made by respondent No. 2 (BOPEE) that they have identified 7 candidates as eligible under Physically Challenged Category, Code 18, under which the petitioner claims the benefit of training and consequently appointment. The fact is that petitioner is figuring at serial No. 4 in the aforesaid district-wise merit list for Jammu Division. The fact that there is reservation for physically challenged category. Code 18, with 6% Horizontal reservation is evident from annexure- "F to the writ petition. The fact that physically challenged persons were allowed to participate and were elected by respondent No. 2 is evident from the statement made in the affidavit supported by Annexure-I to the objections filed by respondent No. 2.In this view of the matter, the Court said that it fails to understand how respondent No. 1 could consider a candidate from physically challenged Category in the open merit category and state that petitioner did hot secure requisite marks. A physically challenged person, who falls under Code 18, should be considered in the said category of physically challenged person. On the other hand, the stand taken by respondent No. 2 in the objections clearly shows that seven candidates were selected. It in. therefore, incumbent upon respondent No. 1 to accord consideration to the claim of the petitioner for suitable training based on the merit list in Code 18 category. A plea is taken by Mr. Ehsan Mirza, learned Dy.AG that the writ petition is to be dismissed on account of delay and latches and that petitioner did not choose to challenge the non- selection within the reasonable time. This argument has to be rejected for the reason that respondent No. 1 has to re-visit the objection filed by him. First respondent does not know merit of a person in the open merit category and physically challenged category thus, it is clear case of arbitrariness. This shows total non-application of mind as to the category a person should be selected. On this ground alone the objections of the State, has to be rejected. It is the duty of the State to fill up the vacancies based on the merit list of respondent No. 2-BOPEE as per category enumerated. It is travesty of justice to ask any person, much less a physically challenged person, to knock at the doors of justice for his appointment. An examination was conducted, merit list is drawn, what prevented the officer to fill up the posts notified is not forthcoming from the objections. This petition is allowed with a direction to the competent authority to consider the claim of the petitioner for undergoing Training Course for Patwari in the physically challenged category Code 18. A decision in this regard to be taken within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of copy of this order, the Court said while giving verdict in OWP No .597/2015 on 17-04-2017. Taking serious note of the mess ignoring eligible handicapped candidate for selection, The court termed the views by both the respondents baseless and ficticious said that court is inclined to impose cost of Rs 1000 on the officer who has signed the affidavit on behalf of respondents No.1 i.e Commissioner Secretary Revenue department.The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have identified the jobs/posts suitable to be held by persons with disabilities and the physically requirement for all such jobs/posts vide their notification no. 16-25/99.NI.I dated 3.5.2001. If a job/post identified for persons with disabilities is shifted from one group or grade to another group or grade due to change in the pay-scale or otherwise, the job/post shall remain identified. Persons with disabilities selected on their own merit without relaxed standards along with other candidates, will not be adjusted against the reserved share of vacancies. The reserved vacancies will be filled up separately from amongst the eligible candidates with disabilities which will thus comprise physically handicapped candidates who are lower in merit than the last candidate in merit list but otherwise found suitable for appointment, if necessary, by relaxed standards.