SC/ST promotions: 400 officers move SC for review of order
New Delhi : About 400 Karnataka government officers on Monday urged the Supreme Court to reconsider its February 9 judgement that had declared as unconstitutional the state law granting reservation in promotion to SC/ST employees.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka government is also likely to file its review petition against the verdict during the course of the week. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has been consulted in drafting the petition, sources said. The officers, working in different departments such as Health, Education, Agriculture and Revenue, were not party to the case. But now they fear demotion. They maintained that the power lies with the state to make provision for consequential seniority in promotion as per Article 16(4A) (reservation in promotion) of the Constitution.
“Section 4 of the Karnataka Determination of Seniority of Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act, 2002 giving benefit of consequential seniority is in conformity with Art 16(4A) of the Constitution and the same is not violative of Article 14 (equality) and 16 (equality of opportunity in public employment) of the Constitution,” the review petition filed by advocate Sanjay M Nuli stated.
In its judgement, the apex court had then said the exercise of granting benefits to the officers by the state government under the 2002 law was undertaken without determining ‘inadequacy of representation’, ‘backwardness’ and ‘overall efficiency’. After seeking legal opinion from former Supreme Court judge Justice V Gopala Gowda, the officers filed their petition drafted by advocate C S Dwarkanath.
“From 1950, through various executive orders and instructions both by the Central government and State governments provided 15% reservation for the SCs and 3% reservation for the STs. Even after 67 years, the Republic of India has not achieved the minimum prescribed percentage of reservation. There are backlogs and vacancies meant for the SCs and the STs which remain unoccupied or not filled in. In these circumstances it is not open for the courts to make observations relating to inadequacy of representation,” they contended. The fresh plea is in addition to the petition filed by a separate group of the officers last month.
(Source : DH)