Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 8
The Supreme Court has ruled that the state can’t be ordered to provide for reservation in public employment and promotions.
“It is settled law that the State Government cannot be directed to provide reservations for appointment in public posts. Similarly, the state is not bound to make a reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in matters of promotions,” a Bench of Justice LN Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta said.
The Bench set aside an order of the Uttarakhand High Court that had ordered the state government collect data regarding the adequacy or inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government services and then take a decision on providing them reservation in promotion, saying it was “contrary to the law laid down by this court”.
The top court also set aside the high court’s July 15, 2019, order which said “all future vacancies that are to be filled up by promotion in the posts of Assistant Engineer should only be from the members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes”, terming it “wholly unjustifiable”.
“Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) do not confer fundamental right to claim reservations in promotion… Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) are in the nature of enabling provisions, vesting a discretion on the State Government to consider providing reservations, if the circumstances so warrant,” the Bench clarified.
“Even if the underrepresentation of Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes in public services is brought to the notice of this Court, no mandamus (order) can be issued by this Court to the State Government to provide reservation in light of the law laid down by this Court,” the Bench said.
Noting that the high court committed an error by striking down the September 5, 2012, decision of the state government not to provide reservation in promotions, the top court said the Government was not bound to provide reservation in promotions.
The Bench didn’t agree with the contention of reserved category candidates that the State was obliged to provide reservations in promotions to uplift the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes members as mandated by Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) of the Constitution.
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