Govt for SC/ST quota in promotions: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the government is in favour of quota in promotions in government jobs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and, if needed, a Constitution amendment would be brought to give it effect.

Chairing a meeting of all party leaders on the issue, Singh said, “the government is exploring a possible solution to the issue relating to reservation in promotions. We will find ways to help the state governments. If needed, we will make it (promotions) legally sustainable,” he said.

Singh said court cases were pending in different states challenging reservation in promotion on the ground that the prerequisites laid down by the Supreme Court were not adhered to while providing quota. “In the recent past, the Supreme Court struck down reservation in promotion in some states. The government is exploring a possible solution,” the Prime Minister remarked in his speech at the lengthy meeting held at his official residence. The meeting was convened after all parties demanded in Parliament that the government amend the  Constitution following the Supreme Court striking down provision of reservation in promotion for SC/STs in the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation versus Rajesh Kumar and others case in UP.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, BSP supremo Mayawati said “We have no problems with that ( promotions for OBCs), but today’s meeting was only about promotions to SC/STs. ”

The PM said at the meeting: “You may be aware that the Government has always been committed to protect the interests of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and on certain occasions did not hesitate to even bring constitutional amendments.”

The apex court, Singh recalled, in its judgement dated November 16, 1992 in Indra Sawhney case, held that reservation in promotion was ultra vires but allowed its continuation for five years from the date of judgment as a special case.

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