Ahmedabad, Sep 25 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court on Friday issued notice to the state government in a plea filed by 187 male candidates who had applied for the post of 'lok rakshak dal' (LRD, or police constable and jail sepai) seeking setting aside of the entire recruitment process as well as appointments made and to begin it afresh.
The court of Justice AC Rao issued notice to the state government on the plea filed by male candidates who failed to make it to the merit list by a few marks.
They said the recruitment, in which the government created 2,485 supernumerary posts for women candidates and separate merit lists for different categories, 'suffers from manifest arbitrariness, gross discrimination and contempt of court of a deliberate, willful and intentional nature'.
The matter will come up for hearing on October 6.
The petitioners said they are meritorious and would have been appointed as per law but for the 'illegal and unconstitutional process' culminating in the appointment of more than 12,000 LRD candidates.
They said over 5,000 women candidates were appointed after lowering cut-off marks at the fag end of the recruitment process, and that too after final selection list-merit list was published and only appointment letters were to be issued.
Creation of 2,485 supernumerary posts is an example of 'reverse discrimination,' as all such posts were created only for women candidates, especially given that the division bench of HC had earlier quashed and set aside 33 per cent horizontal reservation for women.
The process, hence, violates Article 16 of the Constitution, they said.
Supernumerary posts cannot be created on such a large scale, they further said.
The petitioners said there should have been a common merit list to fill up the posts in different categories and not separate lists as has been done in the present case.
'This sort of compartmentalised merit list strikes at the very root of the recruitment process and runs contrary to how the process, keeping in mind qualification and eligibility criteria, merit/selection list, is to be prepared.
'If the appointments are collectively, cumulatively and in a common thread attended to, all the irregularities and illegalities will come to fore,' said the plea filed through lawyer Anand Yagnik.
The petitioners said the recruitment process was not done in accordance with the order passed by the division bench of the High Court last month.
The division bench had last month quashed and set aside a clause in a government resolution issued by the state's General Administration Department with regards to 33 per cent 'horizontal reservation' for women candidates in the same LRD recruitment.
The division bench had in its order said that while a general category woman is not entitled to compete for posts reserved for OBC, SC and ST women candidates, all women, irrespective of whether they belong, or do not belong, to the reserved category, are entitled to compete for posts the general category. PTI KA PD BNM BNM