SC/ST quota for promotions : The case so far

The apex court also turned down the Centre's plea that overall population of SC/ST be considered for Quota's in promotions. With the current hearing ongoing in SC, here is the history of all the cases from 1992 on SC/ST quota in promotions.


Indra Sawhney verdict - 1992

Test or requirement of social and educational backwardness cannot be applied to SC/ST who undoubtedly fall within the expression " backward class of citizen"

  • Backward Classes of the Citizens of in Article 16(4) can be identified on the basis of caste and not only on the economic basis.
  • Article 16(4) is not an exception to Article 16(1)
  • The backward classes in Article 16(4) are not similar to as socially backward classes in Article 15(4) i.e. SC and ST
  • The creamy layer can be and must be eliminated from the Backward Classes.
  • Article 16(4) permits the classification of backward classes into more backward classes.
  • Reservation shall not exceed 50%. The court said that this rule should be applied every year. However, it may be relaxed in favor of people from far-flung and remote areas because of their peculiar conditions. However, extreme caution should be exercised in doing so.
  • Carry forward rule is valid but it is subject to 50%
  • There should be NO reservation in the Promotions.

Mandal commision report- 1979

  • The court upheld the constitutional validity of the 77th, 81st, 82nd, and 85th Amendments.
  • Suggested state to
    (a) provision ( SCs/STs reservation in promotion), 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 of Article 335”.
    (b) State will have to see that its reservation provision does not breach the ceiling-limit of 50% or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely”.

The Nagaraj judgment - 2006

  • the state must
    demonstrate backwardness,
    the inadequacy of representation
    maintenance of efficiency before providing reservation in promotions.
  • The Nagraj verdict was pronounced by a five-judge Bench. The government had sought that the matter be referred to a larger Bench for re-examination.
//2018 judgment is currently sub judice in Supreme Court. ...//

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thRadical: SC/ST quota for promotions : The case so far
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