‘States to collect data’: Supreme Court refuses to dilute criteria on reservation in promotion to SCs/STs

Prime News, National, Constitution, Democracy, Quota, New Delhi, January 28:- The Supreme Court on Friday (January 28) refused to “lay down any yardstick” for granting reservation in promotion to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government jobs. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Nageswara Rao said states are obligated to collect data on inadequacy of representation of SCs/STs.

“On the basis of arguments, we have divided submission into six points. One is yardstick. In the light of Jarnail Singh and Nagaraj, we have said we cannot lay down any yardstick. With respect to the unit for collecting quantifiable data, we have said that the State is obligated to collect quantifiable data,” said the bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai.

The apex court said the collection of information regarding inadequacy of representation of SCs/STs cannot be with reference to the entire service or class but it should be relatable to grade/category of posts to which promotion is sought.

“Cadre, which should be the unit for collection of quantifiable data in relation to promotional posts, would be meaningless if data pertaining to the representation of SC/STs is with reference to the entire service,” the bench said.

With regard to proportionate representation and test of adequacy, the top court said it has not gone into this aspect and it has left it to the states to assess inadequacy of representation of SCs/STs in promotion of post by taking into account relevant factors.

The apex court had reserved its verdict on October 26, 2021. The Centre had earlier asked the court to lay down a definite and decisive ground for the Union of India and the states to implement reservation in promotions to SCs and STs in government jobs. Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, had submitted that SC/STs have been sidelined from the mainstream for years and “we have to bring an equaliser (in form of reservation) in the interest of the country to give them an equal chance”. (MR, Inputs: Agencies)

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