The Supreme Court on June 5 permitted the centre to proceed with reservation in promotion for SC/ST employees in “accordance with law” until the issue is adjudicated by its Constitution bench.
There were separate verdicts by the high courts of Delhi, Bombay and Punjab & Haryana and the Supreme Court had also passed different orders on appeals filed against those judgments, the government said.
“How the promotion is taking place as of now?” the vacation bench comprising justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ashok Bhushan asked.
Responding to the query, the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh said, “They are not. It is all standstill. This is the problem”.
“I am the government and I want to give promotion as per constitutional mandate,” said Singh while urging that he was seeking a similar order as passed on May 17.
The bench told ASG Singh, “We will say you (Centre) can go ahead with promotion in accordance with law.”
The centre mentioned the Supreme Court’s 2006 judgment in the M Nagaraj case, which had clearly said that creamy layer cannot be applied to SC/ST for promotions in government jobs.
It is also similar to two other verdicts of 1992 Indra Sawhney and others versus Union of India (popularly called Mandal Commission verdict) and 2005 E V Chinnaiah versus State of Andhra Pradesh, which dealt with the creamy layer in Other Backward Classes category.
Another bench of the apex court had earlier said a five-judge Constitution bench would examine whether the M Nagaraj judgment needs to be reviewed, said Singh.
In April this year Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan has emerged as the government’s key spokesperson on Dalit issues, and said: “The government will move the apex court for the repeal of its directions which have halted the reservation for these communities in promotion.”
“The court has ruled in favour of reservation for SCs and STs in promotion but also introduced several conditions, which have led to non-implementation of quota guidelines, said Paswan.