HC upholds 100% reservation in service for women as valid

The Rajasthan High Court has upheld that all posts reserved for women welfare can not be termed as excessive and bad reservation and the same is permissible under the Constitution.

Last Updated: Nov 12, 2010, 00:36 AM IST

Jaipur: The Rajasthan High Court has upheld
that all posts reserved for women welfare can not be termed as
excessive and bad reservation and the same is permissible
under the Constitution.

The division bench of the High Court reversed the finding
of a single judge bench of Justice Shiv Kumar Sharma.

The single judge while hearing a writ petition filed by
Narendra Sharma has held that service rule providing 100 per
cent reservation for the post for women candidates is ultra
vires.

The petitioner has challenged section 5 (1) of Rajasthan
Civil Services (special selection and special conditions of
service of project directors, project officers and other
officers in the women development project) Rules 1984 wherein
it was provided that all the post for the various projects
concerning women development shall be hold by women candidates
only.

The government had then also issued a notification in
this regard.

The government in 1998 invited applications for certain
posts of project officers to be filld by women candidates
only.

A candidate, Narendra Sharma applied after the last date
of application and even without holding a requisite minimum
qualification as then prescribed.

Application of Sharma was rejected on various grounds,
besides the fact that the posts were actually reserved for
women only.

In a writ petition filed challenging the reservation
provision, the High Court declared the same a bad.

On an appeal filed by the state government, the division
bench of Justice Dalip Singh and Justice S S Kothari reversed
the findings of High Court on Thursday.

"The court was told that a similar provision was made for
appointments on the post of principal and hostel warden in
women colleges in Punjab state and the Supreme Court has held
the same as constitutional.

Further it was contended that the state under powers of
reservation under Article 15 read with Article 16 of the
Constitution was well within the powers to have made such
special provision for women in employment under state
services.

Upholding the contention the court has delivered a
landmark judgement, "The division bench took note of the fact
that Rajasthan is geographically a deprived state and there is
huge disparity in the gender ratio too as such when a project
is specially and exclusively meant for women alone than there
is no ambiguity in the provision made by the government for
women candidates."

-PTI