SC Lifts Stay Imposed by Uttarakhand HC on GO Granting Women 30% Reservation in State Services Exam

Supreme Court LAW INSIDER

Tanisha Rana

Published on: November 4, 2022 at 19:32 IST

On Friday, the Supreme Court lifted the stay imposed by the Uttarakhand High Court on the government order (GO) that grants women who reside in the State a 30% reservation in State services exam. [State of Uttarakhand vs. Pavitra Chauhan].

Justices S Abdul Nazeer and V Ramasubramanian’s bench requested the respondent’s response regarding the Uttarakhand government’s plea challenging the High Court’s order from August 24.

By means of a notification dated August 10, 2021, the Uttarakhand Public Service Commission announced the Uttarakhand Combined State (Civil)/Pravar Sub-Ordinate Service Examination 2021 and listed 224 openings for various posts in roughly 31 departments.

The advertisement notification stated in clause (8) that women who did not have a state-based residence would not be covered by the horizontal reservation.

The government order was challenged by the petitioners before the High Court on the grounds that it created an Unreserved Uttarakhand Mahila Category and lower cut-off marks for women living in the State to pass the preliminary exam.

It was stated that because they couldn’t pass the preliminary exam while scoring higher than women who could take advantage of the reservation, the reservation prevented them from taking the main exam.

The petitioners additionally argued that the State government lacked the authority to implement domicile-based reservations and that the Indian Constitution only permitted such reservations if a law was passed by the parliament.

The government order (GO) dated July 24, 2006 was overturned by a division bench made up of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice RC Khulbe of the High Court, allowing the petitioners to take the main exam.

The State then filed a petition with the Supreme Court, arguing that the temporary ruling amounted to granting definitive relief.

“The High Court in the grab of interim relief has granted final relief at interim stage, especially when no prima facie case has been made out by the party asking for the said relief, is not sustainable,” the appeal filed by the State said.

The argument further argued that the order’s “geographical classification” on the basis of domicile is constitutionally permissible.

The State of Uttarakhand was represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Standing Counsel Vanshaja Shukla.

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