SC-ST reservations in Government job promotions should be decided by the States : Supreme Court

Editorial Comment

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had suggested the reservations must be for only  10 years, however, this reservation culture is still going on. Now the time has come to think over it at all levels.

New Delhi – It is up to the State to assess the inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Government job promotions. The Court cannot set any criteria for this and cannot change the criteria of previous decisions. ‘Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will be promoted in reservation’, no further hearing on this issue will be entertained. On 7th May 2021, the Government of Maharashtra had taken a big decision to remove the reservation in Government job promotions and give promotions according to seniority. The State Government had also issued an ordinance in this regard. The ordinance was strongly opposed. The matter was appealed to the Apex Court and the SC had given the above decision.

An argument was presented on behalf of all the parties by a Bench headed by Justice L Nageshwar Rao of the Apex Court. The State Government presented its case, while the Attorney-General argued on behalf of the Centre. After all the arguments, the Apex Court had reserved its order on 23rd October 2021 and the decision was given on 28th January.

What is the issue ?

In 2004, the then Congress-NCP Government in Maharashtra passed a law providing for promotion reservation as per Article 16 (4) of the Constitution. After which, for 13 years this law was applied to all Government and semi-Government employees in the State. However, on 4th August 2017, the Bombay High Court, during the hearing of the petition regarding the reservation, declared the 33% reservation given in the promotion invalid. Subsequently, on 7th May 2021, the Government of Maharashtra had taken a big decision to remove the reservation in promotion and give promotion according to seniority.