"States Not Bound To Give Reservation For Jobs", Rules Supreme Court
NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 9—In a landmark judgment on Friday, the Supreme Court of India overturned a 2012 ruling by the Uttarakhand High Court that directed the state to provide quotas to specified communities in jobs and promotions. The top court said it could not compel states to provide quotas and states could not be forced to make such provisions without data showing imbalance in the representation of certain communities in public service, reports NDTV.
In a verdict delivered on appeals on reservations for SC/ST community members in promotions to Assistant Engineer (Civil) posts in the Public Works Department of the Uttarakhand government, the court said there was no "fundamental right" that allowed for such claims.
“There is no doubt that the state government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres an individual to claim reservation in promotions. No mandamus can be issued by the court directing state government to provide reservations," said a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta on Friday as quoted by Times of India.
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Colin Gonsalves and Dushyant Dave had argued the state had a duty to help SCs/STs under Articles 16(4) and 16(4-A) of the Constitution.
On Friday, the top court pointed out that while these articles give the power to make reservations, it did so only "if in the opinion of the state they are not adequately represented in the services of the state".
"It is a settled law the state cannot be directed to provide reservations for appointment in public posts. Similarly, the state is not bound to make a reservation for SCs/STs in matters of promotions," the court said.