'SC/ST quota law in conflict with apex court rulings'

'SC/ST quota law in conflict with apex court rulings'

A group of general category employees on Thursday contended before the Supreme Court that the new Karnataka law on reservation in promotion to SC/ST employees not only adopted some of the “unconstitutional” provisions of the previous 2002 statute but created an authority to revise the seniority list, prepared subsequent to the B K Pavitra judgement of February 9, 2017.

Resuming the arguments, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, along with advocate Kumar Parimal, submitted before a bench of Justices U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud that the fresh law was in conflict with the apex court’s judgement and would seriously affect the interest of general category of employees whose seniority stood revised after the 2017 verdict.

The counsel also assailed the Ratna Prabha report which formed the basis for the new ‘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’.

They contended that the collection of data undertaken by the then chief secretary was not in terms of the 2006 M Nagaraj and 2018 Jarnail Singh judgments by the Constitution bench.

They said there was no collection of cadre-wise data on strength of the staff. The report merely went by group-wise data, though one group may consist of various cadres, they submitted.

The arguments would now continue on Tuesday in the matter arising after the top court 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.

Both the general as well as SC/ST category staff have filed separate petitions, challenging the validity of new law, and seeking its implementation respectively.