HC cancels recruitment of 3,000 Lok Rakshaks

Orders fresh drive based on state's reservation policies

The Gujarat High Court Friday cancelled the recruitment of 3,000 Lok Rakshaks done in 2006 and ordered the state government to conduct a fresh recruitment within two-and-a-half months' time.

The ruling came after the court found that recruitments were in violation of the reservation policies prescribed for the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) candidates.

Following the recruitment drive in 2006, over 50 petitions were filed by the candidates belonging to SC and ST category who had applied for the posts following the advertisement published by the Gujarat Subordinate Services Board on February 7, 2004 for 1,965 armed posts and 1,035 unarmed LRDs.

The petitioners had challenged the recruitments claiming that the Board was illegal and it violated the fundamental rights mentioned in the Constitution. They had argued that the reserved posts for SCs, STs and SEBCs were 146, 307 and 710 respectively, instead of 225, 450 and 810 as per the reservation policy.

They had pointed out that 15 per cent of the selected candidates should have been STs and 7.5 per cent SCs. But out of 3,000 candidates selected, only 142 belonged to the SC category, which was less than five per cent.

While cancelling the recruitment, a division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala directed the government not to disturb the LRDs already in service till fresh recruitments are done.

The bench ordered the government to prepare a general merit list of 1,515 candidates and another one of 1,485 reserved category candidates. The bench also directed that reservation will be provided as per a government resolution dated September 5, 2000 that stipulated reservation in ratio of 7% for SC, 15% for ST and 27% for SEBC.

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