Legal Nation

Supreme Court reserves judgment on reservation in promotion to SC, ST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday (October 25) reserved its judgment in connection with the issue of reservation in promotion to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in government jobs.

The Centre had earlier told the Supreme Court that granting reservation in promotion to SC/ST employees would not adversely affect the efficiency of the administration.

A bench headed by Justice Nageswara Rao, after hearing all the parties, including Attorney General K.K. Venugopal along with another lawyer for the Centre, and also many senior lawyers appearing for various state governments, reserved judgment.

The AG had submitted that deciding the adequacy of representation by SCs and STs in educational institutions or in government employment, the basis of reservation must be kept in mind to decide what should be the standard to be applied for deciding adequacy.

The Centre said for government employees, the proportion of the population of SCs to the total population of the country, and, similarly, the proportion of population of the STs to the total population, has been taken.

“The most certain and definite way of finding out if there is inadequacy is to find out if, to implement affirmative action, which was the basis of providing for reservation, the standard laid down looking at the proportion of the SC and STs to the population of the country or the state in question was followed. This standard would be certain and definite,” it said.

The top court had earlier made it clear that it will not reopen its decision on granting reservation in promotion to SCs and STs and added that it was for the state governments to decide how they will implement the same.

The Centre pointed out that the proportion to the population of SCs was 15 per cent, the STs was 7.5 per cent, and the proportion of OBCs to the total population of the country was 52 per cent.

“If the entirety of the population of all these three classes were to find seats and posts reserved in proportion to the totality of their population, what would have to be reserved is 74.5 per cent, which would defeat the limit of 50 per cent (ceiling limit for reservation).”