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UPSC PERSPECTIVE

 CIVIL SERVICES MAINS GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 2

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

BOOST TO SC/ST QUOTA IN PROMOTIONS

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday modified a 2006 M. Nagaraj judgment requiring the State to show quantifiable data to prove the “backwardness” of a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe community in order to provide quota in promotion in public employment.

BACKGROUND OF THE PREVIOUS JUDGEMENTS

Indra Sawhney & Others Vs.Union Of India (Mandal case) (obc reservation) The Indira Sawhney judgment had excluded Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe quotas from the “creamy layer” test.

RESERVATION IN PROMOTIONS

  • The Article 16(4) came under the Supreme Court’s interpretation in the Indra Sawhney case. The members of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled castes of the country were enjoying the facility of reservation in appointments as well as promotions since 1950s.
  • On 16 November 1992, Supreme Court in its judgment in the Indra Sawhney and Others vs. Union of India and Others (1992) case held that the Reservation of Appointments under article 16(4) of the constitution is CONFINED to initial appointments and does not extend to the matter of Promotion.

INDRA SAWHNEY & OTHERS VS.UNION OF INDIA

  • The reasoning was that reservations exist to create a level-playing field, to remedy unequal starting positions, thereby removing the justification for promotion quotas.
  • The court used the light of Article 335 to justify this.

GOVERNMENT CAME INTO ACTION

  • But the government opined that this ruling of the Supreme Court will adversely affect the interests of the Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes Community of the Country.
  • The government further opined that representation of the SCs and STs in the services in the state have not reached the required level.
  • Passed article 16 (4A) to the constitution

ARTICLE 16(4)

    • Amendment of article 16.-In article 16 of the Constitution, after clause (4), the following clause shall be inserted, namely:-

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  • “(4A) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for reservation in matters of promotion to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes which, in the opinion of the State, are not adequately represented in the services under the State.”.

M NAGARAJ CASE

In this case the constitutional validity of 77th amendment was challenged which provided for reservation in promotion Supreme court upheld the validity of 77th amendment and said that these for just enabling provisions

THE CONDITIONS

In essence, every time a government or the legislature sought to provide reservation in promotions under Article 16 (4A), it would have to pass constitutional muster. While justifying each attempt to provide reservation in promotions, the state would have to demonstrate backwardness, inadequacy of representation and maintenance of efficiency.

PRESENT JUDGEMENT SEP 2018

Supreme Court in the present Judgement (Jarnail Singh v/s Lachhmi Narain Gupta) There is no need to revisit the judgement of M Nagaraj Case by 7 judge bench

VERDICT 2018

  • The Supreme Court paved the way for grant of quota for promotions in the government jobs to SC/ST, holding that the states were not required to “collect quantifiable data” reflecting the backwardness among these communities

 VERDICT 2018

  • However, states will have to back it with data to show their inadequate representation in the cadre

NOTES

  • The creamy layer is a concept that puts an income ceiling on people availing of caste-wise reservations in government jobs and education.
  • Till now, this was only applicable for reservations under the Other Backward Classes quota. Dalits and Adivasis were excluded since it was argued that their backwardness was based purely on untouchability for which economic improvement was not a remedy.

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