Uttarakhand HC Stayed GO that gave 30% Domicile Reservation for Women

Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: August 25, 2022 at 20:38 IST

On Wednesday, the Uttarakhand High Court stayed a government order (GO) that gave women who resided in the state a 30% reservation in State jobs [Pavitra Chauhan v. State].

The GO dated July 24, 2006, was stayed by a division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice RC Khulbe, allowing the petitioners to appear for the main exam.

The petitioners had challenged the order on the grounds that it had created an Unreserved Uttarakhand Mahila Category with lower cut offs for women in the State to pass the preliminary exam.

It was argued that because they couldn’t clear 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 counsel said that the order violated Articles 14, 16, 19, and 21 of the Constitution because all of the petitioners had scored higher on the preliminary exam than the cut-off set for Uttarakhand women.

The fact that all of the petitioners were women and were subjected to unfair discrimination by the State of Uttarakhand was noted.

The petition claims that the Uttarakhand Public Service Commission advertised the Uttarakhand Combined State (Civil)/Pravar Sub-Ordinate Service Examination 2021 and listed 224 openings for various jobs in roughly 31 departments in a notification dated August 10, 2021.

The petitioners additionally argued that the State government lacked the power to provide domicile-based reservations and that the Indian Constitution only permitted such reservations when laws were enacted by Parliament.

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 lead petitioner’s argument counsel was Sugandha Jain.

Kartikeya Hari Gupta and Pallavi Bahuguna were the other advocates.

KN Joshi, the Deputy Advocate General, argued on behalf of the State, and Ashish Joshi, the Advocate for the Uttarakhand Public Service Commission, did the same.

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