Allahabad: Allahabad High Court on Thursday restrained the Uttar Pradesh government from providing reservation facility to "adequately represented" classes in recruitment of close to 40,000 constables in the civil police, the Provincial Armed Constabulary and the fire service.
The order was passed by Justice Sudhir Agarwal on a petition filed by Sumit Kumar Shukla and three others who had applied for the posts of constables following an advertisement published by the Uttar Pradesh Police Recruitment and Promotion Board vide notification dated 20.06.2013.
By way of the aforesaid notification, 35,500 vacancies were advertised for civil police, 4033 for PAC and 2077 for firemen.
Among these, 17,750 posts in the civil police were reserved for SCs, STs and OBCs, while the number of reserved posts in PAC and fire department stood at 2017 and 1039 respectively.
The petitioners had "assailed huge number of vacancies reserved for OBC, SC and ST on the ground that representation of these categories is extremely high in the state services, including that of police, therefore continuation of reservation for them is unconstitutional".
"The state government, without looking into the level of representation of various classes constituting OBC, SC and ST, is continuing with reservation in a mechanical manner irrespective of the fact whether their representation has gone much beyond the required level, that is, adequate representation", the petitioners had said.
They had also argued that continuation of reservation "has now entered the realm of colorable exercise of power, malice and mala fide and is also sheer political exploitation without looking to strict Constitutional requirements".
Admitting the petition, the court noted that the Supreme Court has made it clear that reservation can continue only if a particular class was not "adequately represented" in service.
"The state government deserves to be restrained from continuing with reservation in respect of such classes which are now adequately represented in service in the recruitment in question," the court remarked.
It granted the respondents one month`s time to file their counter-affidavit and two weeks` time thereafter to the petitioners for filing rejoinder.
"It is also clarified that for the time being, the respondents shall construe adequate representation as proportionate representation, that is, classes whose representation in service is 50 per cent of the proportion of their population vis-a-vis all," the court said.
It also said any appointment made against reserved vacancies "in the recruitment in question shall be subject to any further order/modification or the result of this writ petition, as the case may be".