Apex court to hear question on quota Friday

July 31st, 2008 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) The Supreme Court will hear Friday a lawsuit on whether tribal and backward category candidates vying for government jobs should be provided quota at the preliminary test stage itself. The question has been raised by the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) in its lawsuit. The APPSC is challenging a July 23 verdict of the state high court which says candidates entitled to reservation in state jobs should be given the benefit at the preliminary test stage.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan decided to hear the lawsuit Friday after senior counsel L. Nageshwar Rao, appearing for the APPSC, apprised the bench Thursday of the suit.

The state public service commission is the statutory body entrusted with the task of holding competitive examinations for state jobs.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court ruling has rendered ineffective the result of the latest APPSC preliminary test held for short-listing of candidates eligible to take the main examination for appointment in the state’s civil and police services as well as the other services.

On the basis of preliminary tests held on April 10 this year, the commission had short-listed 9,800 candidates to take the main examination for 196 government jobs.

The commission had 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 said the commission’s act of not according them reservation at the preliminary test stage violated the constitutional provision under Article 16 (iv), which provides for reservation for backward and Dalit candidates in 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.

The tribunal based its ruling on two other judgements of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

But the unsuccessful candidates challenged the tribunal verdict before the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which reversed the tribunal ruling and held that candidates entitled to reservation in state jobs should be given the benefit from the preliminary test stage.

It was against this ruling that the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission had come to the apex court.

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