- Only Jats, Rajputs, Jat Sikhs were invited for recruitment, plea alleges
- Petitioner said he was not considered as he belonged to Ahir/Yadav caste
- Delhi High Court sought reply of Centre, Army Chief within four weeks
The Delhi High Court has asked the centre and the Army chief for their response after a petition alleged that only three castes - Jats, Rajputs and Jat Sikhs - were considered for recruitment for the post of the President's bodyguard.
The Defence Ministry, Army chief, Commandant of the President's Bodyguard and Army Recruitment Director have been asked to file their reply within four weeks.
The court was hearing a petition by a resident of Haryana, Gaurav Yadav, who wants the recruitment of the President's bodyguard, held on September 4, 2017, to be set aside.
Gaurav Yadav said he belonged to Ahir/Yadav caste and fulfilled all the eligibility criteria of recruitment, except caste.
"Preferential treatment" provided to the three castes has deprived other citizens, who were also eligible, of the opportunity of recruitment, his petition said.
"The recruitment criteria so formulated and followed contains an arbitrary classification which is based on caste and henceforth, it being in the nature of class legislation, stands in complete violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Also, the recruitment process stands in violation of Article 15(1) which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, caste, sex, colour and place of birth," his petition said.
It said there was discrimination in the recruitment process on the basis of caste and that Article provides for non-discrimination by the state in employment to public office.
"However, in the present case, since only three castes were allowed to be recruited to the office of Presidential Bodyguards, which is indeed a public office, there is violation of Article 16 as well," it alleged.
Earlier, the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court had refused to entertain a plea on the issue, saying it does not get into these kind of petitions.