Reservation Law Insider

Greeva Garg –

Published on: August 20, 2021, at 16:40 IST

The Supreme Court of India, during the hearing of an appeal has ruled that a person belonging to a reserved category and living in an undivided State can claim the benefit of reservation in either of the successor States of Bihar or Jharkhand upon their reorganisation in November, 2000.

The division bench comprising of Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice Ajay Rastogi pronounced answer to this peculiar question after a resident of Jharkhand, Pankaj Kumar, a member of Scheduled Caste filed an appeal against the 2:1 majority High Court order dated February 24, 2020, denying him appointment in State Civil Service examination of 2007 on the ground that his address proof showed that he was a permanent resident of Patna, Bihar.

The top court said it holds that the majority judgement of the High Court of February 24, 2020 is unsustainable in law and is hereby set aside.

“We are also not in agreement with the minority judgment on principle and clarify that the person is entitled to claim the benefit of reservation in either of the successor State of Bihar or State of Jharkhand but would not be entitled to claim the privileges and benefits of reservation simultaneously in both the States and if that is permitted, it will defeat the mandate of Articles 341(1) and 342(1) of the Constitution,” the Apex Court said.

The Supreme Court directed the State authorities that Pankaj Kumar shall be appointed pursuant to his selection in reference to the State Civil Service examination of 2007 within six weeks and said that he is entitled for his seniority as per his placement in the order of merit with notional fixation of pay and allowances.

The bench observed, “The collective readings of the provisions of the Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000, makes it apparent that such persons whose place of origin/domicile on or before the appointed day, November 15, 2000, was of Bihar now falling within the districts/regions which form a successor State, that is Jharkhand under Section 3 of the Act, 2000 became ordinary resident of the State of Jharkhand their existing service conditions shall stands protected by virtue of Section 73 of the Act, 2000.”

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