A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court has said there is no need for a SC/ST quota in promotions to government employees. The bench also said there is no need for a seven-judge bench to reconsider the court’s 2006 judgment which had placed conditions for granting quota benefits in job promotions to SC/ST employees.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra pronounced the verdict. The bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, RF Nariman, SK Kaul and Indu Malhotra, had reserved its verdict on August 30 after hearing various stakeholders, including the Centre, on the matter.
A five-judge Constitution Bench, in its 2006 verdict in the M Nagraj case, had said the states are bound to provide quantifiable data on the backwardness of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), the facts about their inadequate representation in government jobs and the overall administrative efficiency, before providing quota in promotions to members of these communities.
The court today said that the 2006 verdict in the Nagraj case putting conditions for granting quota in job promotions for SC/STs need not be referred to 7 judges. The court also turns down the Centre’s plea that overall population of SC/ST be considered for granting quota for them. It said states need not collect quantifiable data on backwardness of SC/ST for giving quota in job promotion to SC/ST employees.
The court did not comment on two other conditions given in 2006 verdict which dealt with adequacy of representation of SC/ST in promotion. MOre details awaited.