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Benefit of Special Category Reservation granted: Karnataka High Court

In the case of Kumari Anjali R. versus Karnataka Examination Authority [Writ Petition No.- 11576 of 2020(EDN- CET)], the Karnataka high court observed that because of the minor error in describing the reservation category, the candidate who was aspiring for a seat in engineering course cannot be denied a seat in the CET examination.

This very writ petition was represented by the applicant’s father under Article 226 & 227 of the constitution of India to consider the petition, allow the applicant to make a correction in the CET application form and to consider the candidate eligible for special category reservation under the category of EX CAPF. Articles 226 and 227 are the parts of the constitution which define the powers of the High Court. Article 226, empowers the high courts to issue, to any person or authority, including the government (in appropriate cases), directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari or any of them. Article 227 determines that every High Court shall have superintendence over all courts and tribunals throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction (except a court formed under a law related to armed forces).

The Karnataka Examination Authority dismissed the candidature of the applicant who is the daughter of an Ex. Border Security Force soldier because she made a mistake in the description of the reservation category. The court was of the view that since the petitioner provided sufficient material which included a certificate which proved that she is the daughter of Ex. BSF soldier who defended the frontiers of the nation for a period exceeding twenty years and has retired, therefore she was rightly entitled to enjoy the privilege of the reservation.

The court further stated that it was a minor mistake committed by the petitioner in describing the reservation category however the court was of the opinion that it was not a mistake at all as BSF is apparently a defense organization too which was statutorily constituted under the provisions of the Border Security Act of 1968; “the provisions of the Act and the Rule made thereunder make it abundantly clear that the servicemen of BSF function as the soldiers guarding the borders of the country, therefore, this aspect of the matter ought to have been adverted to by the respondent before denying a seat to the petitioner under the ‘Special Category’ regardless of the description mentioned by the candidate, who is admittedly a minor”.

The court continued to state that “too technical an approach would defeat their very purpose; in any circumstance before rejecting the applications, the officials having a word with the candidate and his/ her parents would infuse fairness in the action which is an essential element of justice; more is not necessary to specify”.

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