The Supreme Court has set aside a Delhi High Court verdict which held that selected persons cannot be accorded quota benefits on account of non-submission of OBC certificate before cut off date, saying weaker sections should not be deprived of reservation as they have been facing “centuries of oppression”.
A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and V Gopala Gowda referred to an earlier High Court verdict that had said that the candidature of those candidates, who belonged to the SC and ST categories could not be rejected simply on account of the late submission of caste certificate.
“The Division Bench of the High Court erred in reversing the judgment and order passed by the single Judge, without noticing the binding precedent on the question laid down by the Constitution Benches of this Court in the cases of Indra Sawhney ...wherein this Court ...held that the object of providing reservation to SC/ST and educationally and socially backward classes of the society is to remove inequality in public employment, as candidates belonging to these categories are unable to compete with the candidates belonging to the general category as a result of facing centuries of oppression and deprivation of opportunity.
“The constitutional concept of reservation envisaged in the Preamble of the Constitution as well as Articles 14, 15, 16 and 39A of the Directive Principles of State Policy is to achieve the concept of giving equal opportunity to all sections of the society,” it said.
Some persons had applied for posts of ‘Staff Nurse in Delhi Government’s Health Department’ in 2008 and did not give OBC certificate before last date of submission of forms.
The candidates moved the High Court against denial of employment.
The single judge bench asked DSSSB to reconsider “the application of appellant and the other aggrieved candidates against OBC category within a period of one month”.
The division bench of the High Court, however, reversed the order.
The apex court then set aside the High Court verdict saying that the historic judgement in the Indra Sawhney case was binding and such benefits cannot be denied to deprived sections which are being oppressed for centuries.