No reservation in promotions for non-SC, ST Maharashtra employees, says Bombay HC | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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No reservation in promotions for non-SC, ST Maharashtra employees, says Bombay HC

The Bombay high court struck down a government resolution (GR) that extended such benefits to employees, saying the state had no authority to decide this

mumbai Updated: Jul 27, 2017 00:58 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
SC and ST government employees will also not be able to benefit from reservation in promotions temporarily.
SC and ST government employees will also not be able to benefit from reservation in promotions temporarily. (HT File)

Non-scheduled caste or scheduled tribe employees of the Maharashtra government will not be able to benefit from reservation in promotions, said the Bombay high court on Tuesday.

It struck down a government resolution (GR) that extended such benefits to employees, saying the state had no authority to decide this.

SC and ST government employees will also not be able to benefit from reservation in promotions temporarily. Justice MS Sonak struck down another GR , which gave them such benefits, after the state failed to comply with mandatory legal requirements.

Justice Sonak was hearing a reference necessitated after two judges had conflicting opinions while deciding a challenge to the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal’s (MAT) November 2014 decision.The decision had declared the Maharashtra State Public Services Act, 2001, unconstitutional. As two GRs had been issued under this Act, the judges struck them down.

Justice Anoop Mohta had reversed the MAT ruling, while justice Amjad Sayed, had held that the MAT should not have gone into the constitutional validity of the enactment in the facts and circumstances of the case. At the same time, Justice Sayed had struck down the two GRs holding them unconstitutional. 

On Tuesday, Justice Sonak decided the reference concurring with the view expressed by Justice Sayed that two GRs – both issued on May 25, 2004 one of which granted benefit of reservation in promotion to government employees belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and other extended the same benefit to De-Notified Tribes, Nomadic Tribes, Special Backward Category and Other Backward Classes, and the other to SC and ST employees. 

Justice Sonak said the GR granting benefit of reservation to non-SC and non-ST employees was liable to be struck down as the government was not legally authorised to extend such benefits to non-SC and non-ST employees. 

“The text, the context coupled with legislative history as reflected in the statement of Objects and Reasons makes it clear that Article 16(4A) enables the State to make provisions for reservation in matters of promotion in favour of SCs/STs only wherever they are not adequately represented in the services under the State,” said Justice Sonak. “Conversely, Article 16(4A) does not enable, the State to make provisions for reservations in promotions in favour of 'any backward class of citizens' other than SCs/STs.” 

The judge struck down the other GR extending benefit of reservation in promotion to SCs and STs on the ground of non-compliance of mandatory requirements of collecting quantifiable data showing that the categories were inadequately represented in state services.