Draw up a fresh merit list based solely on marks, HC tells Haryana | India News – Times of India

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana HC on Friday struck down Haryana govt’s policy of assigning additional marks based on socio-economic criteria while evaluating job aspirants, terming the system a violation of constitutional safeguards against discrimination.
The division bench of Justices Sanjeev Prakash Sharma and Sudeepti Sharma was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the criteria entitling a candidate without any family member in govt service to five extra marks and someone whose father died to a maximum of 20 additional marks.
In the initial years since the system took effect, additional marks would be given to candidates domiciled in Haryana. It was later extended to all job aspirants.
Citing Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution that bar discrimination on grounds of race, religion or place of birth in all spheres of life, the court ordered the state govt to draw up a fresh merit list based solely on marks obtained by candidates in the common eligibility test for posts in groups C and D.
The order was pronounced in open court but hadn’t been uploaded to the HC portal till late Friday.
The petitioners had argued for the govt’s June 11, 2019 notification to be quashed as several meritorious candidates missed out on jobs because of the extra marks given to some who scored less than them, based on socio-economic criteria.
Some of the petitioners referred to Supreme Court’s verdict in the Indra Sawhney and M Nagaraj vs Union of India case, saying the state couldn’t “obliterate” the ceiling of 50% reservation in jobs.
In that case, the apex court held that if the 50% ceiling was breached, the structure of quality and equality, as outlined in Article 16, would collapse.
Haryana submitted that the cases relied upon by the petitioners pertain to reservation, whereas the state had given the concession of additional marks to people who were entitled to this under socio-economic criteria.
Of the 400 police SIs appointed that year, only 22 — constituting around 5% of the selected candidates — in the general category didn’t benefit from extra marks based on socio-economic criteria.
Among the 65 women SIs who were selected, three candidates made the cut without the advantage of concessions. In the category of women constables, all 1,100 posts were filled with candidates who were given extra marks in the recruitment test.

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