Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 27
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the Haryana Government’s latest notification reserving 20 per cent seats for scheduled caste employees in departmental promotions.
The state BJP government had announced the decision on May 15, providing the quota benefit to Class III and IV staff with effect from April 1, 2013. As the issue came up for hearing, Justice Amit Rawal passed the orders while hearing a petition filed by Dinesh Kumar Sharma and other assistants in the Haryana Civil Secretariat for quashing the notification.
The petitioners, all general category candidates, were appointed as clerks in May 1990 and March 1992, before being promoted to the post of assistants as per seniority. But, their chance of further being promoted as deputy superintendent has been marginalised due to the recent notification, they said.
Their counsel, senior advocate Narender Hooda, contended that the representation of scheduled caste employees in the cadre of assistants was more than 20 per cent. Further benefit of 20 per cent reservation would cause immense injustice to the general category candidates, he said.
Hooda argued that the vexed issue of reservation in promotion with accelerated seniority had been attracting attention of High Courts and the Supreme Court since 1962. In M Nagraj case and several other judgments, the apex court ruled that the provision, as contained in Article 16(4) of the Constitution, enabled the government to provide reservation only at initial recruitment stage and not for subsequent promotions.
He also argued that reservation in promotion was held to be in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution by the apex court on several occasions. After hearing the arguments, the court stayed the May 15 notification besides issuing a notice of motion to Haryana. The case will now come up for hearing on October 16.
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