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Quota in promotions: SC reserves verdict

The apex court verdict was reversed by the 77th and 85th Amendments to the Constitution.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 21:41 IST

Amid ongoing controversy over the Centre's bid to expand the ambit of reservation, the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on a bunch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of four amendments which negate its judgements in the Mandal case on various issues including reservation in promotions.

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal reserved its judgement after hearing marathon arguments on behalf of the Centre, various states and pro and anti reservation groups.

The apex court had in the Mandal case held that there can be no reservation in promotions. However, the verdict was reversed by the 77th and 85th Amendments to the Constitution.

The 82nd amendment affecting Article 335 said efficiency will not be a criterion for denying reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Government jobs.

The 83rd amendment introduced the 'carry forward rule' whereby the vacancies not filled up in a particular year is added to the next year's vacancies and reservation is applied to that even if the same exceeded the 50 per cent cap imposed by the apex court in the Mandal case.

A similar petition challenging the extension of reservation for another 10 years till 2010 by an amendment to Article 334 is also pending before the court.

During the course of arguments, the court had wondered if any data were being maintained on SC/ST/OBC candidates getting jobs in the general category.

"Tell us which Government is keeping any data on how many (reserved candidates) are getting representation (in Government jobs) without reservation. "I don't think the Centre or state governments are keeping any such data so that any group can be taken out of reservation," it had observed.

First Published: May 04, 2006 21:41 IST