'Quota law amounts to usurpation of judicial power'

'Quota law amounts to usurpation of judicial power'

A group of general category employees on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the new Karnataka law on reservation in promotion to SC/ST staff made no provision for collection of cadre-wise data and exclusion of creamy layers in violation of the 2006 M Nagaraj judgement as well as 2018 verdict in Jarnail Singh by the Constitution bench.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing the group of petitioners, submitted before a bench of Justices U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud that the new law also did not consider the criterion laid down for ascertaining the overall efficiency of administration in granting concession to the SC/ST employees.

He also reiterated the fresh law enacted by the state government this year was “an usurpation of the judicial power” since the apex court had already quashed the similar provisions in its judgement in the B K Pavitra case on February 9, 2017.

The arguments in the matter would continue on Thursday. The issue before the court has arisen after it had in 2017 struck down reservation in promotions for the SC/ST employees after having noted that the mandatory exercise of collecting empirical data on representation as per the mandate of the M Nagaraj judgement was not undertaken.

‘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, 2017’ was enacted and published in gazette on June 23 this year to protect reservation in promotion to the SC/ST employees.