Published On: Wed, Aug 29th, 2018

Presumption of backwardness of SC/ST employees vanishes once they join govt services: Supreme Court told

New Delhi: There should not be quota in promotions for higher services as the presumption of backwardness of SC and ST employees vanishes once they join government services, the Supreme Court was today told by the counsel opposing such reservation.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi said the quota in promotions for SC/ST should not be allowed to continue for higher services.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who represents those opposed to quota in promotions, told a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Misra that earlier there was presumption of backwardness with regard to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities.

“Reservation in promotion is quite different from reservation at entry level where candidates from SC/ST community get the job,” Dwivedi said.

He referred to Article 16 of the Constitution and said that the presumption of backwardness was there when the candidates of SC/ST community apply for the jobs and this presumption vanishes with regard to grant of quota in promotions.

Referring to the developments that have taken place post independence, he said that the position of SC/ST communities was not same as it was in 1950.

“The question is whether initial presumption of backwardness is available to communities for all levels even after they become IAS, district judges and secretaries,” he told the bench which also comprised Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, S K Kaul and Indu Malhotra.

Dwivedi said the quota in promotions for SC/ST may be continued for class-IV and class-III services and it should not be allowed to continue for higher services.

The advancing of arguments will continue tomorrow.

Earlier, the top court had questioned the logic behind granting quota in promotions in government jobs to the kith and kin of affluent persons among the SC and ST communities who have been holding high official positions.

It had posed the query as to why the ‘creamy layer’ principle, used to exclude affluent other backward classes (OBCs) people from enjoying the fruits of reservation, cannot be made applicable to deny quota benefits in promotion to those affluent among the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).


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