New Delhi,19 May: The Supreme Court has stayed the Madras High Court decision setting aside the merit list prepared by the Union Public Service Commission relating to civil services for the years 2006 and 2007.A vacation Bench comprising Justices C K Thakker and L S Panta passed the interim order on the appeals filed by the Centre and some candidates and issued notice to one Ramesh Ram on whose petition the High Court had restrained the declaration of results based on the merit list prepared by the UPSC.
However, after filing of the petition by the Centre on 16th May, the UPSC had declared the results for 2007 on the basis of the order passed by the High Court.
UPSC has made it clear that the results declared by it were provisional and would be subject to the outcome of the appeal pending before the apex court.
The matter related to the rule allowing adjustment of vacancies in the unreserved category with that of reserved category.The Bench sought response within three weeks from those who were opposing the rule.
The High Court had held as ‘null and void’ Rule 16 (2) of the Examination Rules of the Government of India for Civil Services Examination saying that it ran counter to the benefit of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBC candidates and was not affirmative, progressive and pragmatic in achieving social justice.
In all 457 candidates were selected for the final list for the years 2006 and 2007.
Of this, 31 OBC and one SC candidate made it through the merit list (unreserved) but at the same time availed their postings under the reserved category.
This action by the UPSC, based on Rule 16 (2), deprived equal number of candidates from the said communities of availing the postings, the High Court had held.
"It amounts to reducing the number of posts reserved for the SC/ST/OBC and adding the same number of posts to the unreserved category, thus making a mockery of the entire rule of reservation," the High Court had said.
Instead of helping achieving social justice, the rule was acting against the SC/ST/OBC candidates, the High Court observed and held the "impugned Rule 16 (2)" as unconstitutional and null and void.