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Supreme Court Asks Centre To Share Data On Providing Reservation In Promotions For SC/STs

Sohini Chowdhury
25 Feb 2022 3:47 AM GMT
Supreme Court Asks Centre To Share Data On Providing Reservation In Promotions For SC/STs
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While passing order in the matter relating to reservation in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Jarnail Singh And Ors. v. Lachhmi Narain Gupta And Ors. 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 94, a Three Judge Bench of the Supreme Court had decided to take up individual appeals, on merit, on a later date.The Court further directed that, in the meanwhile, the Centre should file an...

While passing order in the matter relating to reservation in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Jarnail Singh And Ors. v. Lachhmi Narain Gupta And Ors. 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 94, a Three Judge Bench of the Supreme Court had decided to take up individual appeals, on merit, on a later date.

The Court further directed that, in the meanwhile, the Centre should file an affidavit providing particulars of contemporaneous data available before it on providing reservation in promotions for SC/STs.

"In the meanwhile the UoI is directed to file an affidavit after supplying it to the other side, giving particulars about contemporaneous data that was available to Government of India along with application of mind on the data for providing reservation in promotion."

On Thursday, a Bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai decided to take up the batch matters which came up in appeal from the orders of the Delhi High Court and the Punjab High Court in March. The Bench directed the Supreme Court registry to provide a particular date in this regard.

"List those cases on a particular day."

Senior Advocate, Mr. Gopal Sankaranarayanan apprised the Bench that in several batch petitions before the High Courts, the Central Government had admitted that they did not have data as per the mandate of M. Nagaraj And Ors. v. Union of India And Ors. (2006) 8 SCC 212. He suggested that in those matters the petitions can be dismissed and the Centre can be asked to collect relevant data. Senior Advocate, Dr. Rajeev Dhavan pointed out the significance of contemporaneous data in view of the mandate in M. Nagaraj.

Senior Advocate, Mr. Balbir Singh appearing for the Central Government submitted that from the year 1997, when the Office Memorandum dated 02.07.1997 ("OM"), which contained principles of preparing rosters, had been issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training, the Centre had started preparing rosters. It was highlighted that there are about 3000 Ministries which have a roster for every cadre. Moreover, Committees are appointed to review these rosters every year. It was argued that his counterparts in the High Court did not take this parameter and had submitted that no data was available. He asserted that the said parameter provided sufficient data for every year to find out if there is adequacy of representation and therefore, no separate exercise was carried out to collect data.

Mr. Sankaranarayana opposed stating that after the order in M. Nagaraj and in view of the latest judgment in Jarnail Singh the Centre cannot change the goal post and claim to have adopted a separate parameter to collect data apart from the one mandated by the Apex Court.

Considering there would be far reaching implications if these matters are disposed off in the manner suggested by Mr. Sankaranarayanan, the Bench decided to hear the Centre on merit and take a call accordingly. The Bench noted that since the Delhi High Court had quashed the OM of 1997, the same needs to be decided and therefore the batch of matters assailing the Delhi High Court decision would be taken up first. Mr. Singh suggested that the Punjab and Haryana High Court batch can also be taken up as the 1997 OM was also mentioned therein. The Bench agreed to hear the said matters on merit. 

[Case Title: Jarnail Singh And Ors. v. Lachhmi Narain Gupta And Ors. C.A. No. 629 of 2022 and connected matters]

Click Here To Read/Download Order 




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