The general category vacancies in public employment is open to all the candidates including those belonging to reserved categories like other backward classes (OBCs) and Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
While delivering the judgment, Justices U U Lalit, Ravindra Bhat and Hrishikesh Roy observed that not allowing meritorious candidates of reserved categories to move up and get selected under general category would amount to communal reservation.
The principle in this regard is well settled that candidates belonging to any of the vertical reservation categories are entitled to be selected in Open or General Category. Candidates belonging to reserved categories are entitled to be selected on the basis of their own merit and their selection cannot be counted against the quota reserved for the categories for vertical reservation to which they belong,
The Court observed that the open category is open to all, and the only condition for a candidate to be shown in it is merit, regardless of whether reservation benefit of either type is available to her or him.
The Court observed that as a consequence of the judgment, the selection ought to have been quashed. However, taking into consideration that fact that the selected candidates had completed the training and were in regular employment, the Court ordered that since there were adequate number of vacancies available, the relief was required to be moulded and the State Government directed to issue appointment letters to all those OBC category candidates who secured more marks than selected general category candidates.