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Why did the Supreme Court say – after the merger, the worker cannot be deprived of reservation in the new state

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The Supreme Court said in a decision that if the workers move to the new state after the merger, they will be considered residents of that state and they will be given the benefit of reservation in service. Even if their residence is in the old state. While giving this order, a bench of Justice UU Lalit set aside the order of the Jharkhand High Court, in which an employee was deemed to have migrated to the state and denied him the benefit of reservation. He came to the Supreme Court against this order.

The top court said that in this case it should be seen that the employee had merged himself with Jharkhand under the States Reorganization Act of 2000. The Act stipulates that such workers shall also carry with them the system of reservation and they will be given the same facilities as they would get if they lived in the undivided state. The court said that the Constitution Bench has decided that migrants will not be entitled to reservation, even if their caste is marked as a reserved category in that state. But this is not the case with Pankaj. He has come to Jharkhand by merging with the service under the law. Apart from this, his caste had the benefit of reservation in 18 districts of Bihar, from which Jharkhand has been made, so it cannot be said that he is a migrant.

The court further said that it is not even his case that he is taking reservation in both the states. He asked for reservation in Jharkhand and not in Bihar. Jharkhand was included in the reservation he got in undivided Bihar and after that he chose Jharkhand and remained there. So they will be given the benefit of reservation in Jharkhand. The court ordered that Pankaj should be appointed and he should be given seniority, his salary and allowances should be fixed accordingly.

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What was the matter?

Before the formation of Jharkhand in the year 2000, Pankaj Kumar of Patna was working as a teacher in Hazaribagh. When Jharkhand became a separate state, he chose Jharkhand only and got it merged there. In 2008, he took the Combined Civil Services Examination and got selected in the reserved category at number five in the results in 2010. But when it came to the appointment, the state did not give him appointment and said that his permanent place of residence is written in the service register as Patna, he is not a resident of Jharkhand but a migrant. He took the matter to the High Court. The single bench ruled in his favor but the state government appealed against it in the full bench and in the ratio of 2:1, it considered him as a migrant by giving a decision in favor of the state government.

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