SC paves way for reservation in promotions

Top court paves way for sc/st quota in government job promotions

Supreme Court of India on Wednesday may have virtually paved way for the implementation of reservation in promotions in government jobs. Pronouncing its judgment today, the Supreme Court while holding that there was no need to refer its 2006 verdict on benefits of quotas in job promotions for SC/ST employees to a larger bench, did term one condition imposed in the judgment as bad in law and struck it down.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, S K Kaul and Indu Malhotra clarified that states need not collect quantifiable data on the backwardness of SC/ST employees to provide benefits of quota in job promotion, news agency PTI reported.

The 2006 verdict of the top court had mandated states to provide quantifiable data on the backwardness of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), information on inadequate representation in government jobs and the overall administrative efficiency before going ahead with the quota for them.

The Centre and various state governments had sought a reconsideration of this verdict on various grounds. The governments had contested that SC and ST communities are presumed to be backward and considering their stigma of caste, they should be given reservation even in job promotions.

However, in today’s verdict, Justice RF Nariman clarified that there is no requirement to collect quantifiable data of backwardness of SC/STs to provide reservation, legal watchdog Live Law reported.The verdict has virtually left it upon the state and Central government to decide as to when and in what form reservation in promotion is to be implemented.

Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati welcomed the Supreme Court’s order and said, “the judgement is welcome to a certain extent since the Supreme Court didn’t impose a restriction in this regard and clearly said that centre or state governments can provide reservation if they want.”

The October 19, 2006 judgment had said that the concept of creamy layer within the SC/ST is not the issue. “There may be individuals who might have overcome the stigma, but the community continues to face the stigma.”

By- chetan priyadarshan