New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court has ruled that quota policy is not meant to deny merit and said that general category in employment is open to all including reserved category candidates.

The verdict was given by a three-judge bench of the apex court which included Justices UU Lalit, Ravindra Bhat and Hrishikesh Roy. The bench was hearing a plea against the manner in which vacancies under the special classes were to be filled for posts of female constable in Uttar Pradesh.

In its verdict, the top court ruled against the idea of "a communal reservation", saying "selection which results in candidates getting selected against open or general category with less merit than the other available candidates will certainly be opposed to principles of equality".

"But the converse can never be true and will be opposed to the very basic principles which have all the while been accepted by this Court. Any view or process of interpretation which will lead to incongruity as highlighted earlier, must be rejected," the court said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

The court also said that reservations "both vertical and horizontal" are methods of ensuring representation in public services and they should be not "seen as rigid slots".

"The said view is is starkly exposed as misconceived, because it would result in such women candidates with less merit (in the open category) being selected, and those with more merit than such selected candidates, (in the social/ vertical reservation category) being left out of selection," Bar and Bench quoted Justice Bhat as saying.

Directing the UP government to appoint the 21 female candidates as police constables, the apex court said, "the converse can never be true and will be opposed to the very basic principles which have all the while been accepted by this Court. Any view or process of interpretation which will lead to incongruity as highlighted earlier, must be rejected".

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma