Pat HC | Late submission of non-creamy layer caste certificate – not a ground for rejection of candidature

Patna High Court: Mohit Kumar Shah, J. allowed a petition seeking consideration of candidature against the Backward Caste category.

Petitioner was working as Agriculture Coordinator since the date of his appointment on contractual basis. The contractual service of the petitioner had been extended from time to time and in the meantime, an advertisement was published by the Commission on 29-04-2015 for the purposes of making recruitment to the post of Agriculture Coordinator. It was provided in the said advertisement that the caste certificate issued by the notified Circle Officer regarding certification of the caste of the backward class and extremely backward class which stated about the candidate not belonging to the creamy layer, would be considered valid. It was further provided that at the time of counseling, the candidates belonging to the backward category / extremely backward category had to produce the non-creamy layer certificate and in case, they failed to submit the said certificates, such candidates would be considered under the unreserved category and they would not get the benefit of reservation. On not finding his name in the results, the petitioner filed an objection before the Bihar Staff Selection Commission, Patna (Bihar SSC). The Commission passed an order stating that the candidature of the petitioner had been rejected on the ground that the petitioner had not submitted the non-creamy layer certificate at the time of counseling. Aggrieved thereby, the instant petition was filed.

The learned counsel for the petitioner, Nityanand Mishra, submitted that the petitioner had submitted the non-creamy layer certificate, as was evident from the impugned order dated 22-07-2017, but still, the candidature was cancelled. Whereas, learned counsel for the respondent, Ashok Kumar Dubey, submitted that the petitioner had failed to furnish his non-creamy layer certificate during the counseling held on 05-05-2016.

The Court observed that the only ground for debarring the candidature of the petitioner under the BC Category and putting him in the general category was that the non-creamy layer certificate has not been submitted at the time of the counseling held by the Commission wherein the petitioner had participated and instead, the petitioner had submitted the same subsequently on 29-05-2017. The Court cited Ram Kumar Gijroya v. Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board, (2016) 4 SCC 754, in which it was held that reservation was provided to the backward classes of society with the objective of removing inequality in public employment, as candidates belonging to these categories were unable to compete with the candidates belonging to the general category as a result of facing centuries of oppression and deprivation of opportunity.

Consequently, the Court held that the candidature of the petitioner could not be rejected merely on the account of late submission of the non-creamy layer caste certificate, though the same had been submitted much prior to the publication of the result.

In view of the above, the Court allowed the writ petition, set aside the order dated 22-07-2017 passed by the Commission and directed the respondent Bihar SSC to reconsider the application of the petitioner against the backward caste category.[Shashi Bhushan Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 677, decided on 17-05-2019]

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