Accelerated Promotion With Consequential Seniority For SC/ST In Public Employment
- GS Mains Paper-1,2
- Government Schemes and Policies, Polity, Judiciary
Why in news?
- Recently the Centre told the Supreme Court that all SC/ST employees must get reservation in promotions.
- The case is in relation to a 2006 Supreme Court verdict in M Nagaraj vs. Union of India case.
What was the 2006 verdict about?
- In the 2006 verdict the SC had ruled that reservation in promotion of government servants was not mandatory for the state.
- However, if the state wanted to exercise its discretion, they were free to do so.
- The government can introduce a quota in promotion for its SC/ST employees only if they prove
- that the particular Dalit community is backward
- it was inadequately represented
- such a reservation would not affect the overall efficiency of public administration
- The opinion of the government should also be based on quantifiable data.
- Hence, backwardness, inadequacy and administrative efficiency were “compelling reasons” for reservation.
- But despite these, the state will have to ensure that its reservation provision does not lead to excessiveness.
- This means that the state cannot breach the ceiling limit of 50% or eliminate the creamy layer or extend reservation indefinitely.
- The judgement excluded the ‘creamy layer’ in SC/ST reservation during promotion.
- The judgment said the three qualifiers were meant to prevent “reverse discrimination” by State.
- However, the judgement was contested by the Centre and the constitution bench is now hearing it.
What were the concerns?
- The Centre said the provision has led to a deprivation of the Dalit communities.
- The government also objected to the creamy layer concept among the SC/ST as it was becoming a hindrance.
- Besides, getting quantifiable data for “inadequate representation” had many procedural limitations.
- Also, the elaborate exercise is leading to a large number of posts lying vacant.
- The SC/ST communities have already faced centuries of deprivation at the hands of society.
- They have been deprived of access to temples, schools and the basic facilities of life as they are “presumed backward”.
What does the Centre demand?
- The Centre highlights the need to show “affirmative action” by giving SC/STs equality of opportunity.
- It pushes for providing “accelerated promotion with consequential seniority” for SC/ST members in public employment.
- “Consequential seniority” is when an SC/ST employee is promoted purely on reservation basis despite another person waiting for promotion is actually senior to him/her.
- The Centre wanted a total of 22.5% (15% for SC+7.5% for ST) posts reserved for promotion for SC/ST in public employment.