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Dalits mull stir over SC verdict on reservations for promotions in government jobs

The AIAM, an umbrella group of pro-Dalit outfits, said they would agitate at a massive scale against this order.

Published: 11th February 2020 08:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th February 2020 10:59 AM   |  A+A-

Petitioners advocate Prithviraj Chauhan and Priya sharma addresses media over SC verdict  on  SC/ST (Amendment Act at the SC lawn on Monday.

Petitioners advocate Prithviraj Chauhan and Priya sharma addresses media over SC verdict on SC/ST (Amendment Act at the SC lawn on Monday. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Following the Supreme Court order that reservations for promotions in government jobs is not a fundamental right, Dalit groups have said they would launch into agitation against this order. 

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad wrote on Twitter that they were not in agreement with the order and would launch into a movement in order to procure this right. 

The All India Ambedkar Mahasabha (AIAM), an umbrella group of pro-Dalit outfits, said they would agitate at a massive scale against this order.

ALSO READ: No fundamental right to claim quota in promotions - Supreme Court

“The rights of Dalits are being deliberately weakened. We are discussing the way forward. But our agitation would be bigger than our earlier Bharat Bandh. We really need to think through the issue this time. It will be a long-drawn agitation. We do not have the final dates yet,” said Ashok Bharti, AIAM chairperson. 

“Judiciary is not helpful towards the weak anymore,” added Bharti. There has been a political furore over this issue.

The Opposition Congress has claimed that the BJP is against the idea of Dalits would have reservations. 

Activist Harsh Mander said that it was the state’s responsibility to provide equal opportunities to people.

“Affirmative action is a core idea of the Constitution. When the equal opportunity for all people is historically denied, it is the duty of the state to provide this right. How the reservation can be reformed can be debated,” said Mander. 

ALSO READ: Marginalized communities worried after SC verdict regarding reservation in jobs, promotions, says Kharge

“After generations of exploitation of caste system, reservation is a way to ensure equality. Reservation is vehicle for achieving social justice,” said Pandiyan, executive director, Witness for Justice. The order comes in a case on the validity of the 2012 order of the Uttarakhand government.

Contentious quota

The SC judgment ruling that reservations for SCs/STs in promotion was not a fundamental right came on a batch of appeals pertaining to quota dorn SCs and STs in promotions in the posts of Assistant Engineer in PWD, Uttarakhand. Here’s a timeline 
of the case:

July 10, 2012: Uttarakhand High Court, while hearing the case of Vinod Prakash Nautiyal vs the State of Uttarakhand, barred reservation in promotions

Sept 5, 2012: Uttarakhand govt-issued order barring departments from providing reservation in promotions to SC/ST employees

April 1, 2019: Uttarakhand High Court quashed the state government’s order 

May 2019: Review petition filed in High Court 

Sept 11, 2019: Uttarakhand govt put on hold promotions in all state govt departments

Nov 2019: Setting aside its April 1 order, the Uttarakhand HC directed the state government to collect the data on “adequacy/inadequacy in the representation of SCs and STs before providing reservation for the posts that are filled through promotions in government jobs”

Nov 2019: Uttarakhand govt and a body of general and OBC employees filed special leave petition in Supreme Court

Feb 7, 2020: SC ruled that state government cannot be directed to provide reservation in promotions


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