The government appears to have been caught between the demand for reservation in super speciality posts raised by friendly parties and the legal limitations in implementing this difficult proposal.
The demand was renewed in both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday by the outside supporters of the government, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as also the UPA’s latest friends Janata Dal (United).
All the three parties wanted the government to implement its promise of bringing a constitution amendment bill to reverse the July 18 judgment of the Supreme Court against reservation in super specialty faculty posts at AIIMS.
Law minister Kapil Sibal’s statement in the Rajya Sabha that a review petition had already been filed in the Supreme Court against the verdict and no institution in the country had been affected since the apex court had asked the government to take a decision in the matter, failed to satisfy the BSP MPs.
Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath reminded BSP chief Mayawati that on her demand the government had got the constitution amendment bill to continue reservation in promotions last year in the Rajya Sabha.
The government’s dilemma now is whether to amend Article 335 of the Constitution, which states that reservation should not affect efficiency of administration or to alter Article 16 to make it specifically clear that lack of representation would be a valid ground for allowing reservation in super specialty posts in medicine, engineering and other scientific posts.