The Supreme Court Wednesday agreed to hear petitions demanding examination of the correctness of its verdict in the M Nagaraj case on a reservation in promotions in government jobs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the first week of August.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud refused to pass any interim relief saying the matter had already been referred to a Constitution bench.
“You see, a reference has already been made for hearing the matter by a larger bench. A seven-judge Constitution bench needs to be constituted to consider M Nagaraj verdict, which was heard by a five-judge bench,” the bench said. It will hear the matter on August 3.
The 2006 verdict said that “the state is not bound to make reservation for SC/ST in matter of promotions. However if they wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the state has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment in addition to compliance of Article 335.”
The verdict also mandated the state to ensure that the reservation did not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the upper ceiling of 50 per cent or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said the matter required urgent consideration as lakhs of jobs in the Railways and other services were stuck due to confusion over various judicial pronouncements.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the petitioners, also contended that a lot of confusion has occurred due to conflicting judicial pronouncements given by different benches of the apex court and high courts.
A vacation bench of the court had on June 5 allowed the Centre to go ahead with reservations in promotion for SC/ST employees in accordance with law.