While setting aside the judgements of Madras high and Delhi High court, where physically handicapped candidates belonging to OBC have been granted to make attempts to 10 times for civil service examination, the honourable apex court ruled that a person enrolled for the civil service examination under the category of physically handicapped can avail only 7 attempts as per rules and not 10, that was erroneously held by the aforesaid high courts which are discriminatory as well as arbitrary and thus unsustainable.
Here in the matter at hand the candidates belonging to other backward classes (OBC) contended that as the attempts for physically handicapped belonging to general category is increased from 4 to 7 as relying upon the notification dated 29.12.2007 issued by Government of India which was intended to increase their attempts and to bring at par with attempts to be made by physically handicapped belonging to OBC.
The respondent had given 7 trials in which he consecutively couldn’t qualify for the same from 1998-2006, so when he applied for his next attempt it was rejected by UPSC as he already utilized all the chances had within the limit. Aggrieved by this he filed O.A. no. 905 of 2008 before the central administrative tribunal but was dismissed due to delay in filing an application. Further, this order was challenged under writ before Madras high court which allowed it and set aside the order of tribunal and pronounced that there should be a proportionate increase in the attempts for physically handicapped candidates belonging to OBC while allowing them 3 more tries constituting in total 10 attempts as well as declaring present rule as arbitrary. Union of India filed SLP before the Supreme Court contesting the order of Madras high court and of Delhi high court.
The Bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Ashok Bhushan held that “The horizontal reservation and relaxation for physically handicapped category candidates for civil service examination, is a matter of Government policy and government after considering relevant materials have extended relaxation and concession to the physically handicapped candidates belonging to the reserved category as well as general category. It is not in the domain of the courts to embark upon an inquiry as to whether a particular public policy is wise and acceptable or whether the better policy could be evolved. The court can only interfere if the policy framed is absolutely capricious and non-informed by reasons or totally arbitrary, offending the basis requirement of the article 14 of the constitution”.
Reported by Harpal Parmar