Read Order: SUNIL POOJA Vs. STAFF SELECTION COMMISSION 

Tulip Kanth

New Delhi, June 2, 2022: The Delhi High Court has directed that the name of the petitioner-candidate under OBC category should be recommend for the post of Data Entry Operator and an appointment letter be issued by observing that the certificates in respect of candidates belonging to the OBC category may have to be furnished along with the application depending upon the instructions mentioned in the Employment Notification, however, no straightjacket formula can be formulated for such submission.

The Division Bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela was of the opinion that the petitioner had valid OBC Certificate as on the day of the skill test, the OBC Certificate being issued on December 17, 2012 and this OBC Certificate fully satisfied the criteria stipulated in the instructions of the Call Letter as well as those contained in the Notification.

The factual background of this case was such that the Respondent-Commission issued Notification inviting applications for selection of candidates to the post of Data Entry Operators.. Reservation was provided in favour of OBC candidates.The Petitioner while submitting her application claimed the status of OBC and a Certificate dated June 8, 2009 was also submitted supporting this stand that she belonged to the OBC category. 

The Petitioner had successfully cleared the written test and had also undergone skill test / typing test. The objections raised by the Respondent with respect to the OBC Certificate was, that it was only such certificate, which was obtained within three years preceding the last date/cut-off date as per the Notification which would be valid. Since the OBC certificate was a few months prior to the cut-off date, which was August 1,2012, the Petitioner was held to be disentitled from being considered under the OBC category.

Considering that under the Wealth Tax Act, a financial year commences from 1st of April of that year to the 31st of March of the succeeding year, the Bench opined that the OBC Certificate dated June 8, 2009 would appear to be valid, through till the period ending March 31, 2010. To satisfy itself in respect of the OBC status as also the creamy layer status of the Petitioner, the High Court closely examined the OBC Certificate dated December 7,2012 issued by the Competent Authority and which was filed on record along with the rejoinder by the Petitioner. The Bench took note of the fact that the Respondents had not disputed either the veracity or the authenticity of the two OBC Certificates in question. 

As per the Bench, it was an admitted case of the Respondents that a valid certificate could have been submitted with it between the period August 1, 2012 through till March 17,2013, the day the Petitioner attended the skill test. The reliance upon the earlier OBC Certificate dated June 8, 2009 appeared to be valid in view of the meaning of the word ‘Financial Year’ as contained in the Wealth Tax Act, 1957. The second OBC Certificate dated December 7, 2012 could not have been objected to, at all, by the Respondents as per their own admissions, both in the pleadings as well as the documents, noted the Court.

The Bench referred to the judgment of the Apex Court in Ram Kumar Gijroya vs. Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board and Anr wherein it was observed that in the context of OBC candidates, such certificates should be of recent period. The High Court also added, “…it appears that a delayed submission of such certificate shall not prove to be the cause for disentitlement from consideration of such candidate by the Authorities.” Thus, taking note of the fact that the petitioner had valid OBC Certificate, the Bench directed that an appointment letter for the post Data Entry Operator be issued to the petitioner.

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