Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Constitutional amendment for reservation in promotion

THE government may bring in a new bill in Parliament, preferably during this current session, which will validate quota in promotion of government jobs in the backdrop of Supreme Court striking down such reservation in a case in Uttar Pradesh recently. In this highly political proposition, all parties except Samajwadi Party and National Conference, have given their nod. But this political move is creating a fear psychosis in government offices as it may divide the work-force on a caste line, and it is argued that deserving general caste officers may lag behind. BoI here presents 10 facts including earlier Supreme Court judgements as curated from observations made in Tuesday's all-party meet on the subject:
• Supreme Court in the case of UP Power Corporation Ltd Vs Rajesh Kumar & Others struck down provision of reservation in promotion to SCs and STs in UP
• Supreme Court in its judgment on Indra Sawhney case dated November 16, 1992 held that reservation in promotion is ultra vires but allowed its continuation for five years from the date of judgment as a "special case".
• The 77th amendment to the Constitution (1995) inserted clause (4A) to Article 16 to continue reservation for SCs and STs in promotion.
• Clause (4A) of the Constitution was modified through 85th amendment to give benefit of consequential seniority to SC/ST candidates promoted by reservation.
• Government often launches Special Recruitment Drives to fill up backlog vacancies reserved for SCs, STs and OBCs. In 2004, more than 60,000 backlog reserved vacancies were filled up. The Special Recruitment Drive, 2008 resulted in filling up of 43,781 vacancies.
• By 82nd amendment to the Constitution, a proviso was incorporated in Article 335 of the Constitution which enabled the state to give relaxations or concessions to the SC and ST candidates in the matter of promotion.
• During the recent past the Supreme Court has struck down reservation in promotion in some states.
• Samajwadi Party and National Conference have opposed the government's move to bring in Constitutional amendment for reservation in promotion of government servants.
• The government may bring in a bill in current session of Parliament itself.
• It remains to be seen how Supreme Court reacts to such a political overture.

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