The Supreme Court Friday recalled its direction to grant quota in promotions to SC/ST employees in higher grade posts in public sector banks, and left it to the government to consider the feasibility of according this benefit.
Allowing review petitions filed by the government and the Central Bank of India, a bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Justice A K Sikri ordered deletion of relevant paragraphs of its judgment in January 2015, whereby the court had allowed reservation for SC and ST employees in promotions from Scale I to Scale VI in public sector banks.
The bench agreed with Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi’s submission that the policy allows only “concession” and not reservation in promotional posts and that these higher grade positions are to be filled up on merit.
“When an error is pointed out and the court also finds that there is an error apparent on the face of the record, it would not shy away from correcting that error. We would be candid in our remarks that once an error is found in the judgment, there is no reason to feel hesitant in accepting such a mistake and rectify the same,” said the bench.
No one should suffer because of a mistake of the court, the bench added, as it directed deletion of some paragraphs of its original verdict.
It also addressed a contention made by the SC/ST Employees Welfare Association of the Central Bank regarding their abysmally minimal representation.
“We are conscious of the fervent plea… however, whether there is any such justification in the demand or not is for the state to consider and make a provision in this behalf.”
It said the government as well public sector banks may decide whether their demand is justified and it is feasible to provide reservation to SC/ST category persons in the matter of promotion in the officers’ category and if so, up to which level.