Govt to decide on promotion quota scrapped by SC
New Delhi, Apr 30,2012 : Days after Supreme Court quashed Uttar Pradesh government's decision on quota benefits to SCs, STs and OBCs in promotions, Government today said it will soon decide the future course of action as concern was voiced in Parliament over the issue.
Significantly, BSP chief Mayawati, who returned to Rajya Sabha a few days back, was accorded a special privilege of raising the issue during the Question Hour which was accordingly delayed by about 10 minutes. The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, in her debut speech during the current term, demanded that the Centre should bring a Constitutional amendment bill during the ongoing session of Parliament to provide for reservation to SC and ST government employees in promotions.
The top Court last week quashed UP government's decision to provide reservation benefits for SCs, STs and OBCs in promotions saying the state failed to furnish sufficient valid data to justify the move to promote employees on caste basis. In the Lok Sabha, the issue was raised by Congress member P L Punia who said the Supreme Court verdict has "created certain confusion" and wanted the government to seek a clarification from the apex court. He received support from several members in the House from various parties.
Responding to the concerns, Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy said discussions were on between the Ministries of Law and Justice, and Social Justice and Empowerment and the government "will take immediate decision" in the matter. He said the government, which had twice earlier brought amendments to the law, had referred the issue to the Law and Justice Ministry.
"Discussions are going on and we will decide on what further course of action needs to be taken on the matter," Narayanasamy said, adding that suggestion given by Punia would also be considered. When the Rajya Sabha met for the day, S C Misra (BSP) stated that his party had given notice for suspension of Question Hour to raise the issue of the court judgement. He requested Chairman Hamid Ansari to allow his party leader Mayawati to raise the issue, to which he agreed. Mayawati said SC and ST employees will have to revert to their original posts if this ruling is not changed.
"It is extremely important for the Central government to bring a Constitutional amendment during the current session of the Parliament itself" to make the Supreme Court ruling ineffective, she said. She said the amendment should be placed under Schedule 9 of the Constitution and sought support of other parties. Schedule 9 protects laws that are contrary to the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights.
She said the Apex Court in Indra Sawhney case had declared as ultra vires reservation in promotion. However, in order to continue reservation in promotions, the Constitution was amended to enable states to continue reservation in promotion.
"If the government needs our support (in passage of the Constitutional amendment), we are ready to provide that," the BSP leader said and demanded a discussion on the issue. First in case of Rajasthan, and on April 27 in case of Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court has held that reservation in promotion is unconstitutional, she said.
The apex court had said the rule was contrary to various judgements by the Constitution benches in the M Nagara, Indra Sawhney and various other cases wherein it was provided that reservation in promotions can be given only if there is sufficient data and evidence to justify the need.