DEHRADUN: The Supreme Court’s orderstriking down a Uttarakhand high court decision maintaining reservations in promotions in government jobs for SCs/STs, has cleared the way for promotion of over 10,000 government employees, which had lain frozen given the pendency of the case. However, the verdict has left many disappointed in the hill state. Karam Ram, state president of SC/ST Employee Federation said, “The decision is a blow to the already marginalised communities.
The federation said while the SC has not barred the government from providing reservation in promotions and only said that it cannot be forced to do so, the government could misuse the verdict. Chandra Bahadur, secretary of Uttarakhand Secretariat SC/ST Personnel Organization said, “We are taking legal opinion and will soon decide the next course of action. Most likely, we will be filing a review petition while pursuing our case with the state government here.”
The Uttarakhand government had in 2012 decided to fill up state government posts without providing reservation in promotions, which led to the decision being challenged in the high court. The HC declared the decision illegal. However, the state challenged the HC decision in the Apex Court. which ruled that the government “is not bound to make reservations”.
The decision has set off a political war with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi blaming the BJP for ‘snatching’ away the right as visualised by BR Ambedkar. Suryakant Dhasmana, vice-president of state Congress, said, “The BJP is trying to impose RSS agenda to reinforce caste system in its ugliest form.”
However, members of general and OBC community said that the decision promotes merit. Deepak Joshi, president of General-OBC Workers Organization of Uttarakhand said, “The SC has decided in accordance with the Constitution. We welcome it.”