Reservation in Promotion
•In the case of Jarnail Singh & Ors vs. Lacchmi Narain Gupta & Ors, the Supreme Court looked into whether reservations for SCs and STs should extend to promotions, by assessing its 2006 Nagaraj judgement.
•On 26th September 2018, the Court delivered its verdict allowing the Central Government to allow reservation in promotion to SC/ST employees working in the public sectors in accordance with law as per the Nagaraj case (2006) guidelines.
•In 2006, the Court delivered its judgment in M. Nagaraj v. Union of India. In it, the Court validated Parliament’s decision to extend reservations for SC/STs to include promotions (reservation in promotion).
•However, the Court laid down three controlling conditions that the State must meet prior to granting a SC/ST a reservation in promotion.
1. First, the State must show the backwardness of the class.
2. Second, it must show that the class is inadequately represented in the position/service for which reservations in promotion will be granted.
3. Finally, it must show that the reservations are in the interest of administrative efficiency.
Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth
(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them
(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to
(a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and palaces of public entertainment; or
(b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public
(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.
Article 15(4) in The Constitution Of India 1949: (4) Nothing in this article or in clause ( 2 ) of Article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
•Article 335 mandates that reservations have to be balanced with the ‘maintenance of efficiency’.
•The 2001 amendment to Article 335 clarified that the Article will not apply to the State relaxing evaluation standards in ‘in matters of promotion’.
•In Indra Sawhney case (1992), a nine-judge Bench had ruled that reservations in appointments, granted to the State by Article 16(4), do not apply to promotions.
Article 335: Claims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to services and posts
•The claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State
Indra Sawhney case
•Allowed 27% reservations of OBC according to Mandal Commisison with a condition that total reservation should not exceed 50%
•Struck down the notification reserving 10% jobs for the upper castes economically backward class on the ground that Constitution only allows reservation for social backwardness
•Creamy lawyer must be eliminated from OBC
•No reservation in promotion
•Parliament inacted three amendments to allow reservation in promotion. Accordingly,
•Article 16(4A) enables the State to make any law regarding reservation in promotion for SC/STs with consequential seniority to SC/ST promote.
•Article16(4B) provides that reserved promotion posts for SC/STs that remain unfilled, can be carried forward to the subsequent year.
•Article 16 (4B) also ensures that the ceiling on the reservation quota -- capped at 50% by Indra Sawhney -- for these carried forward unfilled posts does not apply to subsequent years.
•The Constitutional Bench in Nagaraj validated all the above constitutional amendments made by Parliament.