Debarring Eligible Candidate on Grounds of Invalid Caste Certificate Unfair: Rajasthan HC
The High Court of Rajasthan in Kashish Prajapati D/o Hari Chand Prajapati vs Union of India – S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 13275/2021 – held that petitioner, an eligible candidate, cannot be debarred from admission by invalidating her caste certificate. The court additionally directed the respondent to admit the petitioner to the special round of counselling to be conducted by Central Seat Allocation Board (CSAB)-2021, MNIT, Jaipur.
A single bench of Justice Inderjeet Singh held:
The respondents No.2 & 3 are directed to consider the case of the petitioner for giving her admission in special round of counseling to be conducted by Central Seat Allocation Board (CSAB)-2021, MNIT, Jaipur commencing from 28.11.2021 in left over seats under the OBC (NCL) category as per her merit.
The petitioner filed a writ for issuing direction against the respondent to consider OBC caste certificate valid and to allow her to take part in subsequent counselling round. The claim of petitioner was that she was an eligible candidate for OBC (NCL) category in JEE (Main) 2021 and had also secured 94.4855 marks; the cut off for the admission was 68.23 marks. In the first round of counselling seat, the petitioner was allocated in VNIT Nagpur. Thereafter, she uploaded her documents on Joint Seat Allocation for the Academic Programs (JOSAA) portal on 30.10.2021 and on 31.10.2021 received an email from the portal that her OBC (NCL) certificate was invalid. According to the portal, her certificate, as per the norms of Business Rules of JOSAA, had to be issued on or after 01.04.2021. But the petitioner’s certificate was issued on 13.01.2022 by a competent authority. Aggrieved, she filed the writ petition.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner had informed about the validity of the said caste certificate and according to the State Government guidelines the certificate issued was valid for a period of one year. Further, the counsel submitted that the petitioner again submitted the fresh OBC (NCL) certificate issued by the Competent Authority before the Admission Board on 03.11.2021 which confirms that the OBC (NCL) certificate of the petitioner was issued on 03.01.2021.
The counsel for the respondents had opposed the writ petition and submitted that according to the Business Rules for JOSAA, the requirement was that OBC (NCL) certificate must be issued after 01.04.2021 and prayed for dismissal of the writ petition.
The court after hearing the parties held that the petitioner certainly deserves the seat as she had secured more marks than the required cut-off in her category and declared that her caste certificate is valid till 01.01.22 under the extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 266 of the Constitution of India. The court further directed the respondent to allocate seat to the petitioner in the special round of counselling which was on 28.11.2021 in her category of OBC (NCL) saying:
firstly, the OBC (NCL) certificate issued to the petitioner on 13.01.2021 is valid upto 01.01.2022 as endorsed by the Competent Authority; secondly, on the objection made by the respondents-Admission Board the petitioner has again submitted the fresh OBC (NCL) certificate issued by the Competent Authority on 03.11.2021 which also shows that valid certificate issued in her favour on 13.01.2021 and lastly, in the facts and circumstances of the present case, I deem it proper to exercise the extra-ordinary discretionary jurisdiction of this court under Article 266 of the Constitution of India, holding that certificate of the petitioner OBC (NCL) category is valid upto 01.01.2022.
Accordingly, the case was disposed of.
Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL