The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the center what exercise it had undertaken to justify decisions to grant promotion quotas to employees belonging to Listed Castes (SC) and Listed Tribes (ST) on grounds such as they have representation. insufficient jobs and reservations will not have a negative impact on the overall administrative efficiency.
A bench of three judges led by Judge L Nageswara Rao said that if a legal challenge to the promotion quota for SCs and STs in a particular setting of a post is challenged, the government will have to justify it on grounds such as they are insufficiently represented in a particular framework and the granting of quotas will not have a negative impact on overall administrative efficiency.
“Please don’t argue over the principles. Show us the data. How do you justify reservations in promotions and what exercise have you taken to justify decisions. Please take instructions and let us know “said the judiciary, which also included judges Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai.
At first, Attorney General KK Venugopal, who was appearing for the center, referred to Supreme Court rulings from the Indra Sawhney verdict of 1992, known as the Mandal Commission case, to the Jarnail Singh verdict. from 2018.
The Mandal decision excluded the quota in promotions.
“What is relevant is that the Indra Sawhney judgment concerned the backward classes and not the SCs and STs,” said the judicial officer.
“This judgment deals with the question of whether each category should receive a reserve proportional to its population. It then says ‘no, it should not be given that way,’ because then it will far exceed the 50 percent cap,” did he declare.
Article 16 of the Constitution requires equality in public employment and if merit alone is the criterion, then SCs and STs, who are socially disadvantaged, might not be able to compete, a t -he declares.
The judicial officer said that until 1975 3.5 percent of SCs and 0.62 percent of STs were employed by the government and this is the average figure.
Today, in 2008, the figure of SC and ST in public employment rose to 17.5 and 6.8 percent respectively, which is still low and justifies such a quota, he said.
The court will continue the hearing today.
Previously, the Supreme Court said on September 14 that it would not reopen its decision on granting reservations in promotions to SC and ST, as it is up to the states to decide how they implement it.
“We are saying very clearly that we are not going to reopen Nagraj or Jarnail Singh (cases) because the idea was only to decide these cases in accordance with the law issued by the court,” the magistrate said.
The issues raised by Attorney General KK Venugopal and those broadcast by others broaden the scope of cases, he said.
“We are not prepared to do so. There are some issues that have already been decided in Nagraj that we are not going to address either. We are very clear that we are not going to allow any arguments for the reopening of the cases or the defense of this law imposed by Indira Sawhney is erroneous because the very scope of these cases is to apply the law as it was enacted by this court “, the magistracy said.
KK Venugopal had argued before the Supreme Court that almost all of these issues were covered by Supreme Court rulings and he would provide a history of all cases on the reserve issue since the Indira Sawhney case.
The Attorney General said the Indian Union’s problem is that there are three High Court interim orders two of which say promotions can continue to be carried out, while a High Court has issued standing orders. quo on promotions.
âThe government of India has 1,400 positions (secretariat level) stagnating where no promotion could be done on a regular basis because all three orders were for regular promotions. The question is whether the promotions for regular appointments can be maintained and whether this affects reserved seats.
“There are still 2,500 positions that have stagnated for years due to the standstill orders relating to regular promotions. The government wants to make these promotions on an ad hoc basis without any rights,” KK Venugopal said while calling for the suspension of a plea of ââcontempt against the government. official.
Previously, Maharashtra and other states had said promotions were made in unreserved categories, but promotions were not granted in categories reserved for SC and ST employees.
In 2018, a constitutional bench of five judges refused to return the 2006 judgment in the M Nagraj case, in which the concept of a creamy layer was extended to both listed castes (SC) and listed tribes (ST) to a bench. larger than seven judges. for reconsideration.
It had also paved the way for the granting of quotas for promotions in the public service to SC and ST and had amended the 2006 judgment to the extent that States would not be required to âcollect quantifiable dataâ reflecting the delay. of these communities to justify the quota in promotions.
However, the Supreme Court, in 2018, had confirmed other conditions such that governments will have to justify quota promotions for SC and ST by establishing that their representation in this particular type of job is insufficient and this would not have to do with it. impact on the administrative whole. Efficiency.