The Centre and some state governments on Tuesday requested the Supreme Court to hear the issues relating to reservation in promotions of Scheduled Tribes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) contending that several appointments have been stalled.
A Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna and B.R. Gavai said that it is not open to reconsider its decision on granting reservation in promotions to SC/ST as it was for the states to decide how they implement it. A total number of 133 petitions arising from various states were listed before the apex court today. The States argued about the alleged hurdles in granting reservation in promotions to SCs and STs were due to the ambiguities in the norms for applying reservation in promotions.
The Bench directed advocates of state governments to identify issues peculiar to them and submit those within two weeks. Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for one of the petitioners, said, “Various High Courts are interfering with the guidelines framed by state governments on reservations in promotions and that many such guidelines have also been struck down.”
There was no uniformity in the rulings of the Supreme Court and the High Courts on this issue. “State of Maharashtra had de-reserved reserved posts and had accordingly filled the posts with people from unreserved categories,” Jaising said.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal appearing for the Centre said, “The problem of government is that there are three interim High Court orders passed out which two say that promotions can continue to be made, while one High Court has issued status quo orders on promotions.”
The AG contended that recently, the Centre was constrained to make nearly 1,400 promotions on an ad-hoc basis based on seniority without taking into consideration the principle of reservations, to ensure that the functioning of the departments is not affected.
Venugopal further added, “Contempt petitions have been filed against the Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs over these ad-hoc promotions, although they were made on the basis of a written opinion given by the Attorney General.”
The apex court now posted the matter for hearing on 5 October.