Reserved categories notified by President in any state entitled to reservation in Delhi subordinate services: Delhi High Court

As far as services under the National Capital Territory of Delhi are concerned, the apex court’s decisions hold that the rule of pan-India reservation would be applicable, the Court said.
Delhi High Court
Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has held that all candidates belonging to reserved categories notified by a Presidential Order in any state or union territory would be entitled to the benefit of reservation for subordinate services in Delhi [Ashu & Ors v. The Registrar General, High Court of Delhi and Ors].

A Division Bench of Justices Vibhu Bakhru and Amit Mahajan held that the decisions of the Supreme Court authoritatively conclude that a person who belongs to a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe in one state is not entitled to benefits extended to the reserved categories in another.

However, as far as the services under the National Capital Territory of Delhi are concerned, the apex court’s decisions hold that the rule of pan-India reservation would be applicable, the Court said.

"Insofar as the services under the National Capital Territory of Delhi are concerned, the decision in the case of Bir Singh v. Delhi Jal Board & Ors. (supra) and Deepak Kumar & Ors. v. District and Sessions Judge, Delhi and Ors. (supra) hold that the rule of pan-India reservation would be applicableThus, all candidates belonging to reserved categories notified by the Presidential Order in any State or Union Territory would be entitled to benefit of reservation in the subordinate services in the National Capital Territory of Delhi," the order stated.

The Bench was dealing with a batch of petitions challenging the decision of the Delhi High Court establishment to not recommend for appointment candidates who failed to submit any proof of their being residents of Delhi or on the ground that their caste certificates were issued outside the national capital.

These candidates were seeking appointment as Court Attendant/Room Attendant (Group-C), under the reserved category.

After considering arguments from both sides, the Court noted that in the present case, the establishment of the Delhi High Court had denied the benefit of reservation to the petitioners solely on the ground that they have been unable to produce certificates that they are ordinarily residents of Delhi.

The judges noted that in terms of the notification in question, applications were invited from all citizens of this country without any qualification as to their place of residence.

It is also not the case of the High Court establishment that persons belonging to the SC/ST community of another state are not eligible to apply to the post, the Bench clarified.

It further said there is no requirement for a general category candidate to establish that he is ordinarily a resident of Delhi for qualifying for the appointment and such requirement has been carved out only in respect of candidates who claim reservation by virtue of belonging to the SC and ST community.

“This Court is unable to find any basis for such disqualification; the Notification did not provide for any such qualification,” the Court said.

It added that since the rule of pan-India reservation is applicable in Delhi, if a candidate is able to furnish a certificate attesting that they belong to a SC/ST community, he cannot be denied the benefit of reservation as specified under the High Court’s notification.

The Bench, therefore, allowed the petitions and ordered the High Court establishment to consider the appointment of the petitioners to the advertised posts under the quota for the reserved category candidates, without insisting that the petitioners establish that they are ordinarily residents of Delhi.

Advocates Kavita Jha, Rajeev Jha, Aditya Bali, BK Berera, Nitin K Gupta, KP Ranjan, Anmol Joshi, Ritika Gautam, Subodh Kumar Pathak, Akash Swami, Rajendra Kumar and Ashutosh Saini appeared for the petitioners.

The respondents were represented by Senior Advocate Viraj Datar along with Advocates Rajesh Kumar, Rashmi Chopra, Puneet Rathi, Sonali Batra, Rajat Aneja and Chandrika Gupta. 

[Read Order]

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