Andhra Pradesh High Court ruling on quota suspendedAugust 1st, 2008 - 11:36 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday suspended an Andhra Pradesh High Court ruling that held that various tribal and backward category candidates vying for government jobs should be provided reservation at the stage of preliminary tests itself. A bench of Justice S.B. Sinha and Justice Cyric Joseph stayed the high court’s July 23 ruling on a plea by the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC), the statutory agency entrusted with the task of holding competitive examinations for various state jobs.
The apex court stayed the high court ruling as the commission was scheduled to hold the main examination for various government jobs in the state from Aug 7.
The bench said it would hear the commission’s lawsuit in detail before November 2008, when the results for the main examination are scheduled to be declared.
The commission has sought to resolve the question whether candidates entitled to reservation in state jobs should be given the benefit from the stage of preliminary test itself.
The state high court ruling rendered ineffective the result of APPSC’s latest preliminary test, held for short-listing candidates eligible to take the main examination for appointment in the state’s civil and police services, as also the various other services.
On the basis of preliminary tests held April 10, the commission short-listed a total of 9,800 candidates to take the main examination for appointment for 196 government jobs.
The commission short-listed the candidates as per its own formula of choosing 50 top candidates for each job.
But around 30 unsuccessful candidates, entitled to reservations in government jobs, challenged the commission’s result before the Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, contending that they were not given the benefit of reservation at the stage of preliminary test for the appointment.
They contended that the commission’s act violated the constitutional provision under Article 16 (iv), which provides for reservation for backward and various dalit category candidates in appointment of government jobs.
The Hyderabad-based State Administrative Tribunal, however, dismissed their contention saying they were not entitled to reservation at the stage of preliminary tests itself.
The tribunal based its ruling on two other judgements of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
But the candidates challenged the verdict before the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which reversed the tribunal’s ruling and held that candidates entitled to reservation in state jobs should be given the benefit from the stage of preliminary test itself.
The state public service commission then approached the apex court against the high court ruling.