A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that it is not required not collect quantifiable data on the backwardness of SC/ST for giving quota in job promotion to SC/ST employees.
The bench also refused to refer pleas against its decision in 2006 M Nagaraj vs Union of India case to a larger seven-judge bench.
The SC also turned down Centre’s plea that overall SC/ST population should be considered for granting quota.
According to the 2006 verdict, the criteria to be followed for granting reservations in promotion included gathering quantifiable data by states on backwardness of the class, inadequacy of representation in the service, and compliance with Article 335 of the Constitution of India in which the state was also required to ensure that the reservation does not breach the 50 per cent ceiling.
SC bats for SC/ST quota in govt job promotions
— CNBC-TV18 News (@CNBCTV18News) September 26, 2018
The ruling also said that the ‘creamy layer’ concept cannot be applied to SCs and STs for promotions in government jobs.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for Centre, argued in favour of granting quota saying there was presumption of backwardness in their favour. He said that the SC and ST communities have been facing caste-based discrimination for long and the stigma of caste is attached to them despite the fact that only some of them have come up. To prove his point, he cited instances of Dalits grooms not being allowed to ride horses and untouchability to make his point.
On this Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who opposed any review of the Nagaraj verdict, said the situation had changed from the time the Constitution was framed. The social stigma has disappeared to a large extent. To counter the opposition, he said Dalits have become President and Chief Justice in the country. Dwivedi had also said quota in promotions for SC/ST may be continued for class-IV and class-III services but should not be allowed for higher services.
CJI Dipak Misra also noted that since the verdict no state had prepared the “quantifiable data” despite such a direction in the Nagaraj case.