The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Centre to provide reservation in promotions for employees from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, ANI reported. The order is effective until the Constitution bench disposes of the matter.
“We can say that you can go ahead with promotion as per law and we will not mention what [the] law is,” The Times of India quoted the top court as saying.
The court was hearing the Centre’s special leave petition against the the Delhi High Court’s August 2017 judgement quashing an office memorandum of the Department of Personnel and Training, that provided for the continuation of reservation in promotions indefinitely, Live Law reported. The High Court had cited the top court’s 2006 judgement in the M Nagaraj vs Union of India case.
In that verdict, the Supreme Court held that the state was not bound to provide reservations in promotion to government employees from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. But if a government wished to introduce such quotas, it needs to collect quantifiable data showing the backwardness of these classes, the court had said. The court ruled that if reservation is implemented it must not breach the 50% ceiling or “obliterate the creamy layer”.
In February, the Supreme Court set aside the provisions of a law in Karnataka that provide reservations in the promotion to employees belonging to these disadvantaged groups. States must first determine whether the criteria of “inadequacy of representation”, “backwardness” and “overall efficiency” are fulfilled, the judges had said.
On Monday, the Karnataka State Government SC/ST Employees Coordination Committee said it would organise a state-level rally in Bengaluru on June 15 to demand presidential assent to a bill that would ensure reservations in promotions, The News Minute reported.
Centre vs Supreme Court
In April, Union minister and BJP ally Ram Vilas Paswan said the government would move the Supreme Court urging it to repeal directions that, he claimed, had stymied these marginalised communities’ efforts to get reservation in promotion, The Times of India reported.
The order follows the Centre’s plea seeking a review of the top court’s judgement on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. On March 20, the Supreme Court said that a public servant accused under the law cannot be taken into custody until an officer, not below the rank of deputy superintendent, conducts a preliminary inquiry. The order sparked outrage across the country – 11 people died and hundreds were detained in violence during protests against the order on April 2. The Centre then filed the review petition, and said the judgement had created anger and disharmony.