On Wednesday, the Supreme Court fixed August 3 as the date for a Constitution bench to determine if there was a requirement to reconsider the 2006 M Nagaraj judgement.
The verdict by a five-judge bench has put conditions like backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall efficiency for reservation in promotion for the SC/ST employees.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud refused to pass any interim order, even as Attorney General K K Venugopal contended that confusion was created due to multiple orders and reservations in promotion in various departments, including Railways, was stuck.
“We will not pass any interim. The matter would be put for consideration on August 3,” the bench said, giving 10-day time to various parties to file their written submissions.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing some of the petitioners, contended that the apex court was required to take a holistic view in the matter.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan and advocate Kumar Parimal, representing 'All India Equality Forum' contended the orders have been passed by the apex court in Maharashtra and Punjab matters, the issue should be referred to the Constitution bench, before passing any other order.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade submitted there was no need for a reference to the Constitution bench.
“Let them clarify on what grounds they want reference. In last 10 years, we have seen individual benches making reference, this practice has to stop somewhere. There has to be certainty in law,” he said.
On November 15, last, a three-judge bench referred the matter relating to re-examination of the apex court's 2006 landmark judgement in 'M Nagaraj Versus Union of India' to the Constitution bench.
On June 5, a vacation bench said Union government was not debarred from making promotion in “accordance with law”, on a contention by the Centre that advancement of SC/ST employees was held up due to previous orders.
The apex court on May 17 in the case of 'Jarnail Singh and others Versus Lachhmi Narain Gupta and others' said, “It is directed that the pendency of this special leave petition shall not stand in the way of Union of India taking steps for the purpose of promotion from ‘reserved to reserved’ and ‘unreserved to unreserved’ and also in the matter of promotion on merits.”