Updated: October 6, 2021 7:49:17 am
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre what it had done to collect quantifiable data —in accordance with its constitution bench decisions — to show, among others, inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) members in public employment under it to back its policy to provide them reservation in promotions and to produce the data, if any, before it.
“Show us the data. How do you justify reservations in promotions and what exercise have you undertaken to justify your decision,” a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao asked Attorney General K K Venugopal while hearing petitions by the Centre and states highlighting issues in connection with implementation of its 2018 judgment in the case of Jarnail Singh vs Lachhmi Narain Gupta and others.
The bench, also comprising Justices Sanjeev Khanna and B R Gavai, said it will first deal with the issue whether reservation in promotion has been implemented on the basis of such quantifiable data.
In its 2006 ruling in the case M Nagaraj Vs. Union of India, the court had held 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 in public employment… It is made clear that even if the State has compelling reasons, as stated above, State will have to see that its reservation provision does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling-limit of 50% or obliterate the creamy layer or extend reservation indefinitely”.
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