IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL Nos. 19859-19860 of 2017
(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil ) Nos.18584-85 of 2012)
Union of India & Ors. …. Appellants
Kamal Kishore & Ors., Etc. ….Respondents
L. NAGESWARA RAO, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. The writ petitions filed by the Respondents seeking appointment to the post of Constable G.D. in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the category of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) were allowed by a learned Single Judge of the High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital. The Appeals filed by the Union of India were dismissed by a Division Bench. The Appellants have approached this Court challenging the correctness of the said judgment of the High Court.
3. An advertisement was issued on 24th July, 2010 duly published in daily newspaper Uttar Ujala inviting applications for appointment to the post of Constable G.D. in the CRPF from Indian citizens residing in the States of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. 78 vacancies were notified out of which nine were reserved for OBCs. 13 backlog vacancies of OBCs were also included in the notification. The Respondents who belong to Saini, Momin (Ansar), Gujjar and Kahar communities applied for being considered for appointment to the posts reserved for OBCs. They qualified in the written examination and appeared before a medical board for medical examination. Their names were not included in the final list that was prepared for appointment. On enquiry, they found that their names were shifted to the general category from the OBC category on the ground that the castes to which they belong did not find place in the OBCs List for the Central Government services for Uttarakhand State as per “Swamy’s Compilation on Reservations and Concessions” book. They could not be appointed on the basis of the marks they obtained in the general category.
4. The Respondents filed Writ Petitions in the High Court of Uttarakhand seeking issuance of Mandamus for commanding the Appellants to appoint them to the post of Constable G.D. in CRPF against the post reserved for OBC candidates of Uttarakhand. The Appellants filed a counter affidavit in the High Court in which it was stated that the Respondents were not entitled to be considered for appointment in the posts reserved for OBCs as the castes to which they belong were not included in the List of OBCs for Central Government services, Uttarakhand State as per “Swamy’s Compilation on Reservations and Concessions” book. The learned Single Judge of the High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital allowed the Writ Petitions vide judgment dated 11th October, 2011 by relying upon a judgment of the High Court in Deepak Kumar versus Gurukul Kangri University, Haridwar1. It was also held that there is no dispute about the fact that the castes to which the Respondents belong are OBCs in the State of Uttarakhand. The Appellants could not succeed in convincing the Division Bench of the High Court that the judgment of the learned Single Judge warranted interference.
5. Pursuant to the judgment of this Court in Indra Sawhney versus Union of India2, the Government of India decided to implement reservation of 27% in civil posts and services in favour of OBCs. On the recommendations made by an Expert Committee, a Central List of OBCs was prepared for each State. The Central List of OBCs prepared for the State of Uttar Pradesh included the castes of the Respondents. The State of Uttarakhand was created in the year 2000. In the judgment of Deepak Kumar (supra) relied upon by the learned Single Judge in this case, a reference was made to a letter dated 28th July, 2011 issued by the National Commission for Backward Classes. It was stated in the said letter that the Central List for OBCs for the State of Uttarakhand was under process and that till it was finalized, the List for Uttar Pradesh will be applicable for appointment to Central posts in the State of Uttarakhand. The National Commission for Backward Classes has filed a counter affidavit in these Appeals supporting the Respondents. The Commission stated in the affidavit that the List of OBCs for the State of Uttar Pradesh will enure to the benefit of those residing in Uttarakhand for appointment to services under the Union of India till the Central List of OBCs for Uttarakhand is finalized. It was further stated that by a Resolution dated 8th December, 2011, the Central Government notified the Central List of OBCs for the State of Uttarakhand which consisted of 84 castes.
6. Ms. Indu Malhotra, learned senior counsel appearing for the Union of India relied upon a proceeding dated 12th March, 2007 which was filed along with the rejoinder to contend that there was only one caste included in the Central List for the State of Uttarakhand. She submitted that all the other OBCs were included in the Central List only in 2011 and as the selections in the present case were conducted in 2010, the Respondents whose castes were not in the list of OBCs cannot be considered in the posts reserved for OBCs. We are not in agreement with the said submission as a perusal of the proceeding dated 12th March, 2007 would show that it pertains to inclusion/ amendments in the Central List of OBCs in respect of various States. There is no doubt that one caste Rai-Sikh (Mahatam) was shown in the proposed Entry at serial No.1. It means that the caste was included by the proceeding as an OBC. It does not mean that there was only one caste falling within the category of OBCs in the State of Uttar Pradesh. The position as it existed pertaining to reservation to OBC posts in Uttarakhand is explained by the National Commission for Backward Classes. It is clear from the affidavit filed by the National Commission for Backward Classes that a decision was taken in 2010 to apply the Central List prepared for the State of Uttar Pradesh to the State of Uttarakhand till the List of OBCs for Uttarakhand was finalized. The List was finalized in 2011. There cannot be any doubt that the Respondents belong to the castes which were included in the Central List of OBCs for the State of Uttar Pradesh and were entitled to be considered for the posts reserved for OBCs in the advertisement that was issued on 24th July, 2010. There was some confusion about the applicability of the Lists of the OBCs prepared by the States of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand for implementing reservation in the State’s civil posts. Those Lists have no relevance for appointment to services under the Union of India.
7. Before concluding, it is necessary to mention that the Respondents were deprived of their consideration to the posts reserved for OBCs only on the ground that the castes to which they belong did not find a place in “Swamy’s Compilation on Reservations and Concessions” book. This practice of relying upon private books for the purpose of defeating the rights of citizens is deprecated. The Union of India ought to have referred to the Resolutions of the National Commission for Backward Classes and the Central List that were prepared by the Government of India from the official publications. For no fault of theirs, the Respondents were not considered for appointment as Constables G.D. in CRPF in the year 2010.
8. We uphold the judgment of the High Court and direct the Appellants to consider the Respondents for appointment as Constables G.D., CRPF in the posts reserved for OBCs in the advertisement dated 24th July, 2010. The Appellants are directed not to deny the appointment to the Respondents on the ground that they are now over-aged provided they fulfil the condition of fitness.
9. For the aforementioned reasons, the Appeals are dismissed.
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]
November 28, 2017.