You are here: Rediff Home » India » Business » Report
Search: The Web
  Discuss this Article   |      Email this Article   |      Print this Article

SC okays promotion quota for SC/STs in govt jobs
 · My Portfolio  · Live market report  · MF Selector  · Broker tips
Get Business updates:What's this?
October 19, 2006 11:34 IST
Last Updated: October 19, 2006 12:24 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the constitutional validity of the 77th Amendment to the Constitution providing reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for promotion in government jobs, but said that the creamy layer has to be excluded from its benefits.

A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, said the overall limit of 50 per cent reservation cannot be exceeded under any circumstances.

The court said that while providing reservation for promotion in government jobs, the state has to justify that the SC/STs are not adequately represented and that the administrative efficiencies are not impelled.

The judgement was pronounced on a bunch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the 77th, 81st, 82nd and 85th amendments.

The court held that the constitutional amendment by which article 16(4a) and 16(4b) have been inserted flow from article 16(4) and they do not alter article 16(4).

They retain the controlling factors or the compelling reasons, namely backwardness and inadequacy of representation, which enables the state to provide for reservation keeping in mind the overall efficiency of the state administration under article 335.

"These amendments are confined only to SCs/STs. They do not obliterate any of the constitutional requirements, namely, sealing limit of 50 per cent (quantitative limitation), the concept of creamy layer (qualitative exclusion), the sub-classification between OBC on one hand and SC and STs on the other as held in the Indra Sawhney case," the bench said.

"We reiterate that the ceiling limits of 50 per cent, the concept of creamy layer and the compelling reasons namely backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency are all constitutional requirements without which the structure of equality of opportunity in article 16 would collapse," the bench, also comprising Justices K G Balakrishnan, S H Kapadia, C K Thakker and P K Bala Subramanyen said.

Maintaining that the main issue concerns the "extent of reservation", the bench said, "in this regard the concerned state will have to show in each case the existence of the compelling reasons, namely, backwardness, inadequacy of representation, and overall administrative efficiency before making provisions for reservation."

Holding that the provision providing reservation was an 'enabling provision,' the court said the state was not bound to make reservations for SC/STs in the matter of promotion.

However, if they wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision the state has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment in addition to compliance of article 335, the bench said.

"It is made clear that even if the state has compelling reasons, the state will have to see that its reservation provision does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling limit of 50 per cent or obliterate the creamy layer of extended reservation indefinitely," it said.

While concluding the judgement, the court clarified that it has not examined the validity of individual enactments of appropriate states and that question will be gone into in individual writ petitions by the appropriate bench in accordance with the law laid down in the present case.

© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 Email this Article      Print this Article

© 2008 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback