New Delhi: The Rajasthan High Court has upheld the constitutional validity of the notification issued by the Rajasthan government, in which the government has changed a rule relating to reservation of vacancies for women in its service rules.
To determine the constitutional validity of the notification issued on December 22, 2015, the matter was referred to a larger bench of Justices Sangeet Lodha, Goverdhan Bardhar and Mahendar Kumar Goyal.
The court stated that looking at the notification shows that it offers a category-wise reservation in favour of women candidates or it is known as a bracketing horizontal reservation.
Referring to the decisions given by the Supreme Court in the case of Anil Kumar Gupta and others vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and others (1995) and in Indra Sawhney etc. vs. Union of India and others (1992), the bench said interchangeability within horizontal reservation is acceptable. The objection to such interchangeability can only be made if the candidates brought in due to such interchangeability affect or adversely affect the horizontal or vertical reservation.
The Court said that the Petitioners had not questioned the legislative capacity of the defendants to make the rule applicable under the notification issued on December 22 , 2015.
The bench observed that – it is undisputed that the entire women’s class constitutes a deprived class. But, it is also true that widows and divorced women constitute an even more vulnerable and disadvantaged sub-class among all these women. The defendants have therefore devised a mechanism within their capacity for the upliftment and betterment of this more deprived and vulnerable sub-class.
It was argued on behalf of the Petitioner that fictitious or unrealistic divorces are taken to avail the reservation. In response to this, the Court said that this argument looks prima facie attractive but there is no material / data available on record to prove this argument properly. Therefore, this argument is not able to stand on its feet and it is worth rejecting.
The bench held that “It cannot be ignored that the idea of reservation refers to the selection of a less talented Person. Also, we believe that if the Constitutional promise of Social Justice is to be fulfilled, this cost will have to be paid.”
The Court has also rejected the plea of the Petitioner, reiterating the judgment given by the Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney case, under which the Court has said that some of the less meritorious widow / divorced women candidates will be given an opportunity to move upwards from this rule.
Read the order here;rajasthan
-India Legal Bureau