Unfulfilled vacancies meant for SCs, STs and OBCs in government jobs could not be carried forward for an indefinite period, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A five-Judge Constitution Bench, which ordered exclusion of the creamy layer among SCs and STs from the purview of quota benefit, said that a time limit has to be fixed for filling the reserved vacancies as such posts could not be carried forward for an indefinite period.
Laying down a mechanism for filling up the backlog of quota vacancies under Article 16(4B) of the Constitution, the Bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal noted that some of the states already have the practice of not extending the carry forward rule beyond three years.
In working out the carry forward rule two factors - unfilled vacancies and time limit - are now required to be kept in mind by the government without compromising on the 50 per cent ceiling limit of total reservation, the Bench said.
"The time-scale has to be imposed in the interest of efficiency in administration as mandated by Article 335," it added.
The court clarified that if the time scale was not applied, then the posts would continue to remain vacant for years, which would be detrimental to the administration.
So the Union and state governments, as the case may be, "will now have to introduce the time-cap depending upon fact and situation."
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