SC to consider review plea on July 30 on verdict upholding Karnataka law on quota in promotion for SC/STs

Last Updated 29 July 2020, 04:31 IST

The Supreme Court has now fixed July 30 as the date to consider a review plea of the May 10, 2019 judgement, which has upheld the validity of the Karnataka's 2018 law for granting reservation in promotion to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe employees.

A bench of Justice U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud was earlier scheduled to take up the review petitions by B K Pavitra and KPTCL General Category Association and others in their chamber on June 16.

However, the order posted on the Supreme Court's website on Tuesday, indicated that the matter would now be taken up on Thursday, July 30. According to the SC Rules, a review petition is considered inside judges chamber through circulation of documents sans presence of counsel.

In their plea, over 100 general category petitioners led by B K Pavitra contended the judgement by the two-judge bench of Justices Lalit and Chandrachud has “totally upset and diluted” the settled criteria to determine the nature, extent and purpose of reservation in the entire state of Karnataka. It was also contrary to the law laid down by the Constitution benches in the Nagaraj (2006) and Jarnail Singh (2018) cases.

The verdict has sought to “re-write the law of reservation defying the reasonable balance which the Supreme Court followed for the last 70 years”, their plea has stated.

The petition drawn by advocate Kumar Parimal and settled by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan stated that the court has overlooked the individual right of equality as envisaged under Article 14 and 16(1) of the Constitution by deducing the conclusion by combining together the data of representation in different groups and services.

“The relevance of transformative constitutionalism in the present context is entirely unclear unless it was towards a new interpretation to unsettle binding decisions. Pavitra II has done a dis-service to the principles of constitutional transformation in quota reservations by invoking them as rhetoric,” they said.

Among others, the petitioners stated Pavitra II totally ignored the submissions on efficiency, saying “Merit as a principle of selection between all candidates including SC and ST inter se is quite different from meritocracy. As a principle of selection it simply underlines best person for the job.”

On May 10, the top court had dismissed a batch of petition filed by Pavitra and others against the validity of '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) Act, 2018', passed to “circumvent” the 2017 verdict, then delivered on petitions by Pavitra and others.

(Published 28 July 2020, 11:32 IST)

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