From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Article 15, 16
Mains level : Quota in Promotion debate
The Supreme Court has asked Attorney General to compile the various issues being raised by States with regard to the 2006 M. Nagaraj case, which had upheld the application of creamy layer principle to members of the SC/ST communities in promotions.
Must read edition: Reservation not a Fundamental Right
What is the case about?
- The Centre’s plea came despite the Supreme Court, in September 2018, in Jarnail Singh case, reiterating the Nagaraj judgment of 2006.
- The 2006 judgment required the States to show quantifiable data to prove the ‘backwardness’ of a community to provide quota in promotion in public employment,
- The 2018 judgment, which was authored by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, had refused the government’s plea to refer the 2006 Nagaraj judgment to a seven-judge Bench.
- It had while modifying the part of the Nagaraj verdict, rejected the Centre’s argument that Nagaraj misread the creamy layer concept by applying it to SC/ST.
- In Jarnail Singh vs Lachhmi Narain Gupta (2018), the court dealt with a batch of appeals on the correctness of the Supreme Court’s judgment in M Nagaraj & Others vs Union of India (2006).
- The Nagaraj case, in turn, had arisen out of a challenge to the validity of four Constitution amendments, which the court eventually upheld.
What were the amendments?
- 77th Amendment: It introduced Clause 4A to the Constitution, empowering the state to make provisions for reservation in matters of promotion to SC/ST employees if the state feels they are not adequately represented.
- 81st Amendment: It introduced Clause 4B, which says unfilled SC/ST quota of a particular year, when carried forward to the next year, will be treated separately and not clubbed with the regular vacancies of that year to find out whether the total quota has breached the 50% limit set by the Supreme Court.
- 82nd Amendment: It inserted a proviso at the end of Article 335 to enable the state to make any provision for SC/STs “for relaxation in qualifying marks in any examination or lowering the standards of evaluation, for reservation in matters of promotion to any class or classes of services or posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State”.
- 85th Amendment: It said reservation in the promotion can be applied with consequential seniority for the SC/ST employee.
What is Art.335 about?
- Article 335 of the Constitution relates to claims of SCs and STs to services and posts.
- It reads: “The claims of the members of the SC’s and ST’s shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State.”