SC to take up quota in promotion of SC/STs from Nov 29

The Supreme Court has decided to take up state-wise matters related to reservations in promotion to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes in public employment, from November 29. DH file photo

The Supreme Court has decided to take up state-wise matters related to reservations in promotion to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes in public employment, from November 29.

The issue has remained stuck in legal battle for quite some time. It would now be examined in the light of the Constitution bench's decision of September 28 wherein the court had foreclosed any need to reconsider the M Nagaraj judgement of 2006 laying three conditions for granting reservation in promotion to the SC/ST employees.

The court said that states would no longer require to collect quantifiable data to determine backwardness of these groups as it was contrary to Indira Sawhney judgement (1993 Mandal) by the nine-judge bench. However, the Constitution bench in September affirmed the two other conditions laid down in the Nagaraj's judgment - quantifiable data on inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency.

Among the most notable points the Constitution bench held that the concept of creamy layer would be applicable in reservations in promotions for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Last week, a batch of over 100 petitions were posted before a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah which directed its registry to prepare a state-wise list of cases so as to post all those matters before the same bench.

“We request the Attorney General, to provide a separate list where reservation pertaining to central laws is involved. We request all the counsel concerned to furnish a short list of issues to be taken up by the bench. Post the matters on 29th November, 2018,” the bench ordered.

These petitions arose challenging separate judgements by High Courts of Delhi, Bombay and Punjab and Haryana and others that had quashed the decision to provide quota in promotion to the SC/STs.

The apex court in June in the case of 'Jarnail Singh and others Versus Lachhmi Narain Gupta and others', however, had allowed the Union government to go ahead with the granting reservation in promotions as per law.

On May 17, the court had 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.”

The falling number of officers from the SC/ST community, on the other hand, may force the Union government to seek early disposal of the matters.

The Centre has earlier asked the DoPT to issues directions to all ministries and departments to ensure quota rule in appointments to staff hired for contractual or outsourced works as salaries to such posts were paid from its own exchequer.

Meanwhile, a separate bench is already considering the issues related to compliance of its February 9, 2017, judgement in the 'B K Pavitra and others versus Union of India' case that had quashed a Karnataka law granting reservation in promotions to the SC/ST employees. Among others are the issues of validity a fresh law passed to overcome the 2017 verdict.

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SC to take up quota in promotion of SC/STs from Nov 29

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