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SC asks states to apprise AG of issues pertaining to grant of quota in promotion to SC/ST employees

Several states like Bihar, Maharashtra and Tripura have come to the top court saying that its earlier order to maintain 'status quo' has been coming in the way of promoting SC/ST employees.

Published: 18th January 2021 11:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th January 2021 11:09 PM   |  A+A-

Qouta, reservation

For representational purposes

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday took up various pleas pertaining to alleged hurdles in the grant of reservation in promotion to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in various states and asked them to apprise the Attorney General about the issues which needed adjudication by it.

Several states like Bihar, Maharashtra and Tripura have come to the top court saying that its earlier order to maintain 'status quo' has been coming in the way of promoting SC/ST employees.

In a hearing conducted through video-conferencing, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said it has been accepted that the promotions, which have been made or proposed to be made in several states are in question in these matters.

"The issues are not common in all the cases which have arisen from several states. We therefore consider it appropriate and expedient in the interests of justice that the Advocates-on-Record appearing for each state should furnish a note clearly stating the issues involved in that particular state to Attorney General for India, K K Venugopal, within a period of two weeks from today," said the bench which also comprised Justices L Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran.

It said the Attorney General, after receiving such notes from states, may hold a conference of lawyers of states and "thereupon finalise the issues for the determination of this Court."

"Learned Attorney General for India may prepare a list of such issues along with a reference to the state where they have arisen and the SLP/Civil Appeal No. Such a note may be submitted to this court within a period of four weeks. List these matters after six weeks on receipt of the note from the learned Attorney General for India," the order said.

Earlier, Maharashtra and other states had said the promotions have been made in unreserved categories, but promotions have not been granted in reserved categories for SC and ST employees.

In 2018, a five-judge Constitution bench had paved the way for grant of quota for promotions in the government jobs to SCs and STs, holding that the states were not required to "collect quantifiable data" reflecting the backwardness among these communities.

The apex court said that there was no need to revisit its 2006 verdict in the M Nagaraj case on the issue.

It, however, had held that the conclusion arrived at in the Nagaraj case that the states have to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of SCs and STs was "contrary" to the nine-judge bench judgement in the Indra Sawhney verdict of 1992, popularly known as Mandal Commission case.

"Thus, we conclude that the judgment in Nagaraj does not need to be referred to a seven-judge bench. However, the conclusion in Nagaraj that the state has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, being contrary to the nine-judge bench in Indra Sawhney is held to be invalid to this extent," the bench had held.



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