Gen category staff move SC for post-based reservation

Supreme Court, in New Delhi,

A group of general category employees has approached the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Karnataka government for applying “post-based reservation” in public employment and the principle of creamy layer at entry-level as per the judgement in the B K Pavitra case.

The petitioners, led by Pavitra, filed an application for directions, days after seeking review of the May 10 judgement which had upheld the validity of the Karnataka’s law for granting reservation in promotion to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe employees. They sought a restraint order against the state government on its circulars issued on May 15 and June 24 for implementing the law on reservation in promotion for the SC/ST employees.

On Friday, as the matter came before a bench of Justices U U Lalit and Vineet Sharan, the court said, logically it should go before the same bench. Notably, the judgement was delivered by a bench of Justices Lalit and D Y Chandrachud. “We will have a word and decide, when it can be heard,” Justice Lalit said.

The court then decided to put the application for direction on Monday, July 29.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan and advocate Kumar Parimal, appearing for Pavitra and others, urged the court to defer consideration of the pending review petition.

Senior advocates Indira Jaising and V Laxminarayana, representing the SC/ST employees, questioned filing of the application in the matter which stood disposed of. “We will question its maintainability,” Jaising said.

The application contended, “the state of Karnataka has admitted that promotions were “vacancy” and not “post” based reservation and will be “post” based in future. It follows that a direction is needed that all promotions be re-worked on “post” basis before any further action can take place.” They sought a direction to the state government to apply “post-based” reservation in terms of the judgement in R K Sabharwal Vs State of Punjab (1995).

The applicants sought a direction to the state government to apply “creamy layer” and to exclude individuals belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes who no longer required reservation under 16 (4-A) of the Constitution.

They said a further direction must be issued to the state to apply creamy layer at entry-level to disqualify those who were creamy layer at that stage and conduct the exercise from June 17, 1995, the date of 77th amendment.

Earlier, over 100 petitioners contended the May 10 judgement by a two-judge bench has “totally upset and diluted” the settled criteria to determine the nature, extent and purpose of reservation in the entire state of Karnataka, contrary to the law laid down by the Constitution benches in Nagaraj (2006) and Jarnail Singh (2018).

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