The apex court said provisions in Article 16 for providing reservation favoring SC/STs are enabling provisions, vesting a discretion on the state government
New Delhi: On Friday the Supreme Court has ruled there is no fundamental right to claim reservation in public jobs and no court can order a state government to provide for reservation to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes
In an important judgment, the apex court has ruled that it is within the absolute discretion of a state government to decide whether to provide or not for reservation or promotional reservation and that there is no obligation on the states to mandatorily do so.
Clarifying that a state government mandatorily can collect data regarding the inadequacy of representation of SC and ST in Government services when it wants to provide reservation but otherwise.
“It will be not mandatory for the State Government to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim promotional reservation. The court can’t issue a mandamus directing the State Government to provide reservations,” said Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta on Friday, as it relied upon a body of Supreme Court judgments on this subject.
The apex court said provisions in Article 16 for providing reservation favoring SC/STs are enabling provisions, vesting a discretion on the state government.
But the state government cannot be directed to provide reservations for appointments in public posts, said the bench, adding “for the State, it is not mandatory to make a reservation for SC and ST in matters of promotions”.
Although, the bench if wishes to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the State has to collect quantifiable data showing the inadequacy of representation of that class in public services since such statistics will have to be placed before a court when a challenge is laid to the reservation policies, according to the bench.
Further added the inadequacy of representation of SC/STs is a matter within the subjective satisfaction of the State, subject to a limited scope of judicial scrutiny because “it is for the State Government to decide whether reservations are necessary for the matter of appointment and promotions to public posts”.
About the relevant data regarding the representation of SC and STs in public jobs, the top court underlined that the collection of such data is a pre-requisite for providing reservations, and is not required when the State Government decided not to provide reservations.
The bench said “Not being mandatory to provide promotional reservations, the State is not required to justify its decision on the basis of quantifiable data. It can show that there is an adequate representation of members of the SC and ST in State services. And even if the under-representation of SC and ST in public services is brought to the notice of Court, no mandamus can be issued by this Court to the State Government to provide reservation,”
Rahul Gandhi Reacted to Reservation
Rahul Gandhi said, “The BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS’s) is against reservations after the top Court said quotas and for promotional reservation in government jobs isn’t a fundamental right”.
“This is the BJP’s strategy to remove reservation. It is in the DNA of the BJP and RSS, reservation irritates them. both want to end it… I want to tell the SC/STs, OBCs, and Dalits that we’ll never let reservations come to an end no matter how much Modi-Ji or Mohan Bhagwat dream of it,” he said.