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Reservation in promotion for SC/ST government employees: Supreme Court leaves it on states

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The Supreme Court on Friday said it was leaving the decision to grant reservation in promotion to employees falling under the category of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government jobs to the states themselves.

A three-Judge Bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice B.R. Gavai passed a slew of directions regarding the matter. As per the Apex Court:

The state is obligated to collect quantifiable data regarding adequacy of representation.

Cadre should be unit for collection for quantifiable data for reservation. The collection cannot be with respect to the entire class/class/group, but it should be relatable to Grade/Category of post to which promotion is sought. Cadre should be the unit for collecting quantifiable data. it would be meaning less if collection of data is w.r.t the entire service.

Nagaraj judgment of 2006 would have a prospective effect.

The conclusion in BK Pavitra (II) approving the collection of data on the basis of groups and not cadres is contrary to the dictum in Jarnail Singh.

Earlier on October 26, 2021, the Apex Court had reserved its order on the matter.

The Apex Court had asked the Central government to inform about the steps taken to assess the inadequate representation of SC/ST employees in Central jobs.

The Court further asked the government about steps taken to implement the decision of the Constitution Bench of 2006 on the Nagraj case to give reservation in promotion to those employees.

However, during the hearing of this matter, the Supreme Court had decided that SC/ST will not reconsider the decision given on the reservation in promotion.

On October 26, 2021, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal had submitted that 75 years of Independence had not been able to bring the members of SC and ST category on par with the forward classes of society. Venugopal had reiterated that it was still tough for a member of the SC/ST to reach the ‘Group A’ category jobs.

The Supreme Court had said that there were some problems regarding reservation in promotion, which will be considered.

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