Seniority list: Supreme Court orders notice to Karnataka govt

Seniority list: Supreme Court orders notice to Karnataka govt

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Karnataka government on a plea filed by a group of state government employees against the notifications for publishing final seniority list on the basis of the apex court's decision in the B K Pavitra case.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta sought response from the state government on a special leave petition filed by R T Chandramouli and others.

The court, however, refused a request made by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and V Lakshminarayana, representing the petitioners, for maintaining status quo in the matter.

The apex court had on February 9, 2017 in the B K Pavitra and others vs Union of India and others case had directed for revising the seniority list of the state employees.

A two-judge bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit had then declared the Karnataka law as 'ultra vires' of right to equality and right to equality in matters of public employment under the Constitution for doing away with the 'catch up' rule and providing for consequential seniority to persons belonging to SCs and STs on promotion against roster points.

On Monday, both Sibal and Lakshminarayana contended that the basis of the February 9 judgement was previous apex court's rulings in 'M Nagaraj versus Union of India' (2006) and Indira Sawhney (1992 Mandal case) and those matters have now been referred to the Constitution bench. The employees who are working for about 40 years faced prospects of demotion, they said.

The court agreed to seek the state government's reply as the petitioners challenged October 17, 2017 judgement of the Karnataka High Court's division bench. They sought stay on the notifications issued by the state government on May 8 last pertaining to revising of the seniority list.

The HC had then declined to interfere into the controversy, "because such an exercise is impermissible in the facts and circumstances of the case, in view of the judgment of the apex court" in Pavitra case.

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