SC reservation: 2% job quota for Vimukat Jatis, Bazigars to prevail in Punjab, says HC - Hindustan Times
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SC reservation: 2% job quota for Vimukat Jatis, Bazigars to prevail in Punjab, says HC

By, Chandigarh
Apr 16, 2023 12:42 AM IST

Deciding a clutch of petitions pending since 2013, the high court bench of justice Anil Kshetarpal observed that “the crystal clear policy instructions shall prevail over the contradictory stands taken by the government officials, in the peculiar facts of individual cases.”

In a significant judgment, the Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled that even if the state has taken contradictory stands on several occasions, its 2001 instructions on 2% job quota to the candidates of Vimukat Jatis and Bazigars in Scheduled Castes category reservation would prevail.

The instructions were issued under Article 162 of the Constitution by the Punjab government, according to which the state has the power to issue instructions in the exercise of its executive powers.
The instructions were issued under Article 162 of the Constitution by the Punjab government, according to which the state has the power to issue instructions in the exercise of its executive powers.

Deciding a clutch of petitions pending since 2013, the high court bench of justice Anil Kshetarpal observed that “the crystal clear policy instructions shall prevail over the contradictory stands taken by the government officials, in the peculiar facts of individual cases.”

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The 2001 Punjab government instructions say “it has been decided that in direct recruitment to government services, the posts left unfilled in the quotas reserved for Balmikis /Mazhbis, Scheduled Caste ex-servicemen and Scheduled Caste sportsmen, will be reserved up to 2% for the Vimukat Jatis and Bazigars. If no candidate of the Vimukat Jatis/Bazigars is eligible, the said post will then be filled by other Scheduled Castes.”

The instructions were issued under Article 162 of the Constitution, according to which the state has the power to issue instructions in the exercise of its executive powers.

The issue before the high court was whether 2% reservation would be from all posts advertised and in some cases no reservation was offered, even as seats advertised in the SC category remained unfilled. There were contradictory judgments also on the issue in individual cases.

The court observed that affidavits by officials and the judgment passed in some individual cases would not preclude the state from changing its stand in order to implement its 2001 policy instructions.

The state’s stand was for the posts falling in Class C and D, the state has made the reservation to the extent of 25% for the Scheduled Caste candidates. The broad category of Scheduled Castes includes the candidates belonging to Vimukat Jatis and Bazigars, who are very much a part of the Scheduled Castes as they fall in the ‘other category’ as per the provision of the Punjab Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes (Reservation in Services) Act, 2006.

An additional reservation/opportunity/benefit is sought to be given in case the posts remain unfilled in the quota reserved for the Balmikis/ Mazhbis/ Scheduled Castes ex-serviceman and Scheduled Castes sportsmen. The reservation provided under the policy instructions of 2001 is dependent upon an eventuality which may or may not happen in a particular selection and such reservation is not in addition to what has already been reserved for the Scheduled Caste. “The intention of the government was not to carve out and make a separate reservation to the extent of 2% of the posts, out of the posts reserved for the Scheduled Castes, particularly when the candidates belonging to Vimukat Jatis and Bazigars are already enlisted as Scheduled Castes as per the list published by the President of India in exercise of the powers under Article 341 of the Constitution of India and fall in the sub-category -’Others’,” the state had argued.

The court said that the 2001 instructions are in the nature of an effort of the state to grant representation to the Vimukat Jatis and Bazigars. The candidates belonging to Vimukat Jatis and Bazigars are entitled to be considered amongst the Scheduled Castes (Ramdasiyas and others). Thereafter, if the posts are left unfilled in the quota reserved for Balmikis and Mazhbis, Scheduled Caste ex-servicemen and Scheduled Caste sportsmen, then, they are entitled to be considered in that category, the bench added.

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