Meritorious candidates have right to migrate in General Category
Disallowing reserved category candidates to migrate in General category for government jobs, would be meant as communal reservation said Supreme Court. A Bench of Justices UU Lalit, Ravindra Bhat, and Hrishikesh Roy said in their verdict that the principle that candidates belonging to any of the vertical reservation categories are entitled to be selected in a general category. In case the candidate is meritorious, he/she shall be entitled to be selected in the general category as well.
Justice Bhat, who wrote a separate concurring judgment, said, “The General Category is not a quota which is an open category, but at the same time, it is and it shall rather be available to all women and men alike.”
“The open category is open to all, and the only condition for a candidate to be shown in it is merit, regardless of whether reservation benefit of either type is available to her or him,” it ruled.
This ruling came after the petitions raising the issue of the correct method of filling the quota reserved for women candidates (horizontal reservation) for the selection of constables in Uttar Pradesh. The petitioners, who are OBC women candidates, complained that the Uttar Pradesh govt had failed to comprehend the rule of reservation in the selection of constables and denied them the benefit of “migration” to the general category vacancies as they had secured the marks needed to qualify for the open category.
Reserved category candidates who had secured more marks than the last ranked general category candidate should be given employment under the general category, said the ruling. It also said, “Any selection that results in candidates getting selected against open/general category with less merit than the other available candidates will certainly be opposed to principles of equality.”