Reservations are given to SC, ST, and OBC to provide equal opportunity to them in terms of education, employment, and also in the promotion. Article 16 clause 4 of the Indian Constitution contains the provision of giving reservation in promotion on the direct requirement to SC and ST.  The reservation in the promotion will be applicable in all State and Central government jobs. Supreme Court in his judgment on the case of Indra Sawhney & others Vs. Union of India on 16th November 1992, said that Article 16 of clause 4 did not provide reservation in promotion to SC and ST. Supreme Court order to continue the present reservation policy till 1997.  The government of India introduced the bill for the 77th Amendment of the Indian constitution in parliament to continue Article 16 of Clause 4 of the Indian constitution. The 77th and 85th amendments of the Indian Constitution were challenged by the General Categories employees of the Central government and State Government. But Supreme Court said that the 77th and 85th Amendments are valid according to the constitution of India.

Reservations are given to SC, ST, and OBC in case of promotion to Group B, Group C, and Group D through the competitive exams. The percentage of reservations in promotion given to SC, ST, and OBC is 15%, 7.5%, and 27% respectively. The reservation in promotions is not provided to SC, ST, and OBC in case of single promotion and it will be given to general Category employees. The Government of India provides the reservation in the promotion to SC and ST in the 19 ministries of Central government and provides 15.34% to the SC category employees and 6.34% to ST Category employees. Supreme Court is of views that reservation in promotion should not be given to SC and ST employees and the court view on a reservation to SC, ST in government jobs and the promotion is given to increase their number in the decision-making process. According to the government circular, the SC, ST, OBC employees who are elected through direct selection are not eligible for reservation quota in the promotion. Supreme Court said that reservation in promotion is not the fundamental right of citizens. The State government can provide the reservation in promotion to the minority communities of the state if the government thinks that reservation in promotion is not necessary then they can not provide the reservation in promotion in the government jobs. It is totally in the wish of the state government to provide reservation in promotion. If the reservation provided by the state government on promotion is challenged in the court, then the government have to provide the data to the court, supporting their decision of reservation on promotion in government jobs, if the State failed to prove that their decision is right and correct then the Court can cancel or put the Stay on the decision of the state to provide reservation in promotion. In the latest judgment, Supreme Court said that he does not want to change the present system of providing reservations on promotion in government jobs, it depends on the states to change the conditions and rules of providing reservation in promotion. The Supreme court said that the court does not want to lay down any new criteria to decide the inadequate representation of SC and ST and said that the state has the right to think in this matter and state should analyze the data of the population of their state before granting reservation on promotion to SC and ST.  The Central Government thinks that there is no equal merit between the backward class and the General caste, even after the 75 years of independence of India. The Supreme court thinks that, if they interfere in the matter of giving reservation on promotion to SC and ST then the right of the State to look into the matter and take a decision will be violated. Supreme court said that the State should provide reservation on promotion, not based on the data of the representation of SC and ST in all types of the service, but the state should look into the data of the diffract category in which promotion will be given. The SC and ST are also given extra five years age limit than general for doing attempts for getting government jobs. They are also not required to pay the fees of Application forms of government jobs. They also get some relaxation in the percentage of qualifying exams than general category applicants. They can get the relaxation on qualifying marks also in the promotion. The upper and lower age limit for promotion, which is fifty years of age for general category employees is also relaxed for SC and ST category employees. OBC is also given a relaxation of 3 years in the upper limit for applying for government jobs. The qualification criteria for the particular governments can be lesser than the general category in the case of OBC applicants. SC, ST, and OBC can be also selected for government jobs in the general category based on their performance in qualifying exams. If the SC, ST, and OBC candidate enjoys the relaxation provided to them, then they are not eligible for the jobs and promotion in the unreserved category. The vacancies in SC and ST Category for jobs should be fulfilled by Selecting only SC and ST category candidates on the given vacancies. There is also the backlog vacancy in SC and ST category if the seats of previous vacancies were not able to be full due to fewer candidates in the previous vacancies.  Backlog vacancies are treated as special vacancies and there is no ceiling of 50% reservation in the given vacancies. If the required no of a candidate for government jobs in the SC and St category is not available then the remaining seat in this category are treated as the seat of the general category and the general category candidate are appointed on the remaining seats. The reservation plays an important role in promotion.

Author’s Name: Prahlad (Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala)

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