SC refuses to review order on promotion to SC/ST employees

SC refuses to review order on promotion to SC/ST employees

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea to reconsider its February 9 judgement that had quashed as unconstitutional the 2002 Karnataka law pertaining to grant of promotion to employees belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

A bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U U Lalit did not find any merit in the review petition filed by Nagarajan and others against the judgement in the B K Pavitra and others versus State of Karnataka case.

"We have carefully gone through the review petition and the connected papers. However, we do not find any merit in the review petition. Accordingly, it is dismissed," the bench said. Other review petitions filed by the state government and affected officers are still pending.

In its verdict, the Supreme Court had then relied upon the 2006 Constitution bench's decision in the 'M Nagaraj and others' case to declare as invalid the state law to the extent that it provided consequential seniority to state employees belonging to the SC/STs. It had noted that 'the Karnataka Determination of Seniority of the Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (To the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act, 2002' had done away with the 'catch up' rule.

The court had also said the state government did not undertake the exercise of ascertaining backwardness and inadequacy of representation on the basis of quantifiable data in promoting assistant engineers.

The Karnataka government, pending the review petition, moved ahead to pass a legislation to circumvent the apex court's ruling. The state Assembly had, earlier this month, unanimously passed the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (To the posts in the Civil Services of the State) Bill 2017.

In the meantime, dealing with cases arising out of Maharashtra and Tripura, the apex court had referred to a Constitution bench to examine the need for having a re-look at a 2006 judgement in the 'M Nagaraj versus Union of India' case that formed the basis for quashing the Karnataka law.

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