IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPEAL NO.3240 OF 2011
Pravakar Mallick & Anr
The State of Orissa & Ors.
Date of Judgement
17th April, 2020
The Hon'ble Justice R. Subhash Reddy
The writ petition challenging the resolution passed by the Government of Orissa withdrawing the earlier instructions, for fixation of seniority of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) government servants on promotion by virtue of rule of reservation, the State Government has issued instructions to the effect that the “Catch Up Principle” adopted earlier by the State Government shall not be followed any longer. It is further ordered that the government servants belonging to SCs/STs shall retain their seniority in the case of promotion by virtue of rule of reservation. It is further clarified that the government servants belonging to general/OBC category promoted later will be placed junior to the SC/ST government servants promoted earlier, by virtue of rule of reservation. Unless and until the State Government makes a law for conferring the benefit of promotion with consequential seniority to SC/ST candidates, they are not entitled to claim seniority in the promoted categories over the general category candidates.
- Whether the State is bound to make reservation for SCs/STs in matter of promotions?
- The Government Resolution dated 20.03.2002 can neither be termed as a law in exercise of enabling power of the State under Article 16(4A), nor does it satisfy the parameters laid down by this Court & there is no legal basis for such Resolution.
- It is always open for the State to extend the benefit of reservation with consequential seniority, either by executive order or by way of legislation
- After 85th Constitution Amendment by which Article 16(4A) was amended, there is neither any legislation in the State of Orissa nor any executive order by the Government, to extend the benefit of promotion to the reserved vacancies with consequential seniority.
- The State is of opinion, SC & STs are not adequately represented, and State is empowered to make a provision for reservation in matters of promotion with consequential seniority, to any class.
Decision of the SC
The court held that, if state wish to exercise their discretion on making reservation for SCs/STs in matter of promotions 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 in addition to compliance with Article 335 of the Constitution of India. It is further made clear that even if the State has compelling reasons, the State will have to see that its reservation provision does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling of 50% or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely.
Edited by Sree Ramya
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje