NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Centre to go ahead with reservation in promotion for SC/ST employees in accordance with the law. A vacation bench of judges Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ashok Bhushan accepted the Centre’s submission that the entire process of promotion has come to a standstill due to the orders passed by various high courts and the apex court.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh told the bench that there were separate verdicts by the high courts of Delhi, Bombay and Punjab & Haryana and the apex court had also passed different orders on appeals filed against those judgments.
“How the promotion is taking place as of now?” the bench asked. “They are not. It is all standstill. This is the problem. I am the government and I want to give promotion as per constitutional mandate,” the ASG replied. To this, the court said, “We will say you (Centre) can go ahead with promotion in accordance with law.”
The Centre cited the apex court’s 2006 judgment in the M Nagaraj case, which had said creamy layer cannot be applied to SC/ST for promotions in government jobs.
Singh said another bench of the apex court had earlier said a five-judge Constitution bench would examine whether the M Nagaraj judgment needs to be reviewed. He also referred to Article 16 (4A) of the Constitution, which enables the state to provide for reservation in matters of promotion to SC/ST employees, which in its opinion were not adequately represented in the services.