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SC ‘no’ to reopen decision on grant of SC, ST quota in promotion

The Statesman logo The Statesman 14-09-2021 SNS
a group of people in front of a building: SC ‘no’ to reopen decision on grant of SC, ST quota in promotion © Provided by The Statesman SC ‘no’ to reopen decision on grant of SC, ST quota in promotion

The Supreme Court Tuesday said it would not reopen its decision on granting reservation in promotions to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) as it was for the states to decide how they implement it.

Taking up various pleas pertaining to alleged hurdles in granting reservation in promotions to SCs and STs in various states, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Nageswara Rao directed the Advocate on Records of state governments to identify issues peculiar to them and submit those within two weeks.

“We are making it very clear that we are not going to reopen Nagraj or Jarnail Singh (cases) because the idea was only to decide these cases in accordance with the law laid down by the court,” said the bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khannna and B R Gavai.

The top court noted that in its earlier order, the state governments were directed to finalise the issues which are peculiar to them so that court can proceed in the matter.

The issues framed by Attorney General K K Venugopal and the ones circulated by others are enhancing the scope of cases, it said.

“We are not willing to do that. There are certain issues which are already decided in Nagraj that also we are not going to take up. We are very clear that we are not going to permit any arguments for reopening of cases or arguing that law laid down from Indira Sawhney is wrong because the very scope of these cases is to apply the law as laid down by this court.” the court said.

Venugopal submitted before the apex court that nearly all these issues have been covered by judgements of the top court and he would give a background of all the cases on issue of reservation since the Indira Sawhney case.

Responding to the submission, the bench said, “We are not here to advise the government what they should do. It’s not for us to tell the government how to implement policy. It has been specifically held as to how the states have to implement it and consider backwardness and representation. States have to decide what to do subject to judicial review.”

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan said he does not want to get into the question of representation as Indira Sawhney judgment is clear that it’s not proportionate representation.

The Attorney General said the problem of Union of India is that there are three interim HC orders of which two say that promotions can continue to be made, while one HC has issued status quo orders on promotions.

“The Government of India has 1,400 posts (secretariat level) stagnating where no promotions could be made on a regular basis because all three orders dealt with regular promotions. The issue is whether the promotions for regular appointments can be continued to be made, and whether it affects the reserved seats.

“There are another 2,500 posts stagnating for years due to status quo orders relating to regular promotions. The Government wants to make those promotions on ad hoc basis without any rights,” Venugopal said.

The top court said it has already passed orders on how to consider backwardness and it cannot prescribe policy further.

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