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Supreme Court refuses to reconsider 2006 order on SC/ST quota for promotions

The government had strongly backed restoring quotas in promotions for SCs and STs, arguing that these communities had suffered social inequalities for years .

india Updated: Sep 26, 2018 12:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,SC reservation verdict,SC verdict
A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to refer the 2006 judgment, which ended quotas in promotions for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, to a larger bench but ruled that there was no need to provide “quantifiable to show the communities needed the affirmative action.

The Supreme Court, in the 2006 M Nagraj case, had said states are bound to provide quantifiable data on the backwardness of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), the facts about their inadequate representation in government jobs and the overall administrative efficiency, before providing quota in promotions to members of these communities.

The government had strongly backed restoring quotas in promotions for SCs and STs, arguing that these communities had suffered social inequalities for years and, for the purpose of extending them reservations in government jobs promotions, it should be presumed that they remain underprivileged communities even now.

During arguments, the Centre’s top law officer KK Venugopal had argued that it was impossible to comply with conditions laid down by the court because the data will keep on fluctuating and filling up vacancies is a dynamic and continuous process.

The 2006 verdict effectively implied that scheduled caste and scheduled tribes employees could get guaranteed promotions only if the government produces hard data to demonstrate the “compelling reasons” such as backwardness of the community and their inadequate representation in government.

For all practical purposes, the older verdict had sealed any possibility of extending quota benefits to serving employees. Dalit groups argue this had adversely affected the career progression of SC/ST employees because of an inherent bias against them.

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 11:04 IST