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SC says IAS aspirants have no choice in their postings

SC says IAS aspirants have no choice in their postings

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that successful civil services aspirants have no right to be allocated a cadre of their choice or their home state, PTI reported.

The top court also noted that before selection, the aspirants opt to serve anywhere in the country "with eyes open" but later "scramble" for the home cadre.

A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian said this while setting aside a Kerala High Court order, which asked the Centre to grant Kerala cadre to IAS officer A Shainamol. She had been allotted Himachal Pradesh cadre.

The historic judgement in the Mandal case was also referred to by the apex court to observe that the candidate belonging to the SC/ST or OBC if found suitable by the UPSC for selection on merits under general category, "shall be appointed against unreserved vacancies".

Further, the bench held that if a successful candidate, from the abovementioned categories, does not take benefit of quota and gets selected in a general category, they are not entitled to the benefit of quota and gets selected in the general category. They cannot then take recourse of reservation for getting cadre or place of appointment by choice.

Rejecting arguments that her home state — Kerala — was not consulted before allocating her Himachal cadre, the court said the state has "no discretion of allocation of a cadre at its whims and fancies", and "therefore, the Tribunal or the High Court should have refrained from interfering with the allocation of cadre on the argument of the alleged violation of the allocation circular".

It pointed out that the "entire basis" of Shainamol's "claim is that there was no consultation with the State of Kerala" and that the "argument is however untenable".

The court said, "The applicant was allocated to the State of Himachal Pradesh and there was a consent duly given by the Himachal Pradesh for her allocation to that State. In fact, no consultation was required to be carried out in respect of the applicant with Kerala. Therefore, mandate…of the Cadre Rules is satisfied when a consultation was made with the State to which allocation was made", it said.

Shainamol had initially moved to the Ernakulam Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal which centre Union to allot and accommodate her applicant against the outsider OBC vacancy in the Maharashtra cadre.

The SC however found that though she was an OBC candidate, she had come on general merit without resorting to the relaxed standard for OBC candidates and said that an OBC candidate, who has not availed relaxation or concession, had to be treated as a general category candidate.

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