Doing Away With Reservation In Promotion To SC/ST Employees “May Lead To Unrest”: Centre Tells SC

Quashing of reservation in promotion to SC/ST employees in government jobs may lead to “employee unrest” and “multiple litigations”, the Centre has told the Apex Court. 

The Centre, in an affidavit filed before a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai, informed that the policy for reservation is in consonance with the constitution and the law laid down by this court.

“If the case is not allowed, it would necessitate withdrawal of the benefits of reservation in promotion granted to SC/ST employees. This may lead to reversions of SC and ST employees, re-fixation of their salaries including re-fixation of pension of many employees who may have retired in the meantime, recovery of excess salaries/pension so paid to them. This would lead to multiple litigations and employee unrest,” the Centre said.

The Union of India, defending its policy, stated that representation of SCs/STs in government jobs is inadequate and contended that grant of reservation does not in any manner hamper the administration.

It also said that the administrative efficiency is ensured through the system of Annual Performance Assessment Report which captures assessment of work output, personal attributes and functional competency of each officer. 

Further submitting data of 75 ministries and departments under its jurisdiction, the Centre said out of 27,55,430 total employees, 4,79,301 are SCs, 2,14,738 are STs and the number of OBC employees is 4, 57,148.

The top court had earlier directed the Centre to file an affidavit on the contemporaneous data that is available to the government along with “application of mind” on data for providing reservation in promotion to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government jobs.

The Apex court on January 28, saying that determination of their inadequate representation is the discretion of the State, had refused to “lay down any yardstick” for granting reservation in promotion to SCs and STs in government jobs.

It is neither legal nor proper for the Courts to issue directions or advisory sermons to the executive in respect of the sphere which is exclusively within their domain under the Constitution, the court said. 

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