New Delhi: Quota for SC/STs in promotion for government jobs is impermissible and would be violative of the basic structure of the Constitution, argued former Union law minister and senior advocate Shanti Bhushan in the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Bhushan made this assertion before a five-Judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Kurian joseph, Rohinton Nariman, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indu Malhotra hearing batch of petitions seeking reconsideration of the ‘2006 Nagaraj judgment’ against such quota.
In October 2006, a five judge Constitution Bench in the case of Nagaraj Vs Union of India has concluded the issue by holding 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.
There must be compelling reasons, namely, backwardness and inadequacy of representation, which enables the states to provide for reservation keeping in mind the overall efficiency of the State administration.
Bhushan, while justifying the Nagaraj judgment, argued that whether reservation in promotion in jobs for SC/STs can be provided without data of inadequacy of their representation in the various cadres or services is the short question to be decided by this court....