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The issue about promotions – a reaction to an SLP preferred by the Centre against the August 2017 judgment of the Delhi High Court quashing the DoPT Office Memorandum (OM) dated August 13, 1997, which provided for the continuation of reservation in promotions indefinitely – was on Wednesday (July 11) referred to a constitution bench by the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

The high court had passed the verdict in the light of the apex court constitution bench judgment in M Nagaraj (2006).

Today, petitioner Jarnail Singh said that the Union of India is not debarred from making promotions, quoting Nagraj decisions.

Senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan said that the matter should go before a constitutional bench. The only problem is created by the order of May 15, which stated “reserved for reserved and unreserved for unreserved” by justice Kurian Joseph. This order questions the validity and applicability of the Nagraj judgment.

Attorney General KK Venugopal supported the arguments of Dhavan saying that many issues have arisen.

Senior counsel Indira Jaising said that a holistic approach has to be taken by the bench in this matter.

At that the CJI said that 15(4)&(5) are enabling provisions.

Respondents Lachhmi Narain Gupta said the Nagraj decision needs to be reconsidered. The CJI, however, said that the petitioners have to make out a case stating that the Nagraj decision is wrong.

Jaising said that no promotions will be stopped, as per the decision of this court.

The matter to be listed before the constitutional bench along with the other matters at 2pm on August 3.

India Legal Bureau

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