Collecting Data on SC/ST Backwardness Not Necessary for Quota in Promotions: Supreme Court

The bench said that the 2016 verdict in the M. Nagaraj case does not need to be referred to a larger bench.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said its 2006 verdict in M. Nagaraj & Others vs Union Of India & Others on quotas in job promotions for SC/ST employees need not be referred to seven-judge bench.

The apex court also turned down the Centre’s plea that the overall population of SC/ST be considered for granting quota for them.

The unanimous judgement was pronounced by a five-judge constitution bench.

In the 2006 judgment, the apex court had held that it is not mandatory for the state to make reservations for SC/ST in the matter of promotions, LiveLaw reported. “However, if the State did wish to exercise its discretion, it is supposed to gather quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment, in addition to compliance with the requirement of that class in public employment, in addition to compliance with the requirement of maintaining administrative efficiency as per Article 335,” the website says.

This part of the judgment was referred to the Supreme Court for reconsideration in November 2017.

Clarifying the 2016 decision, the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, R.F. Nariman, S.K. Kaul and Indu Malhotra on Wednesday said states need not collect quantifiable data on backwardness of SC/ST for giving quota in job promotion to SC/ST employees.

The top court did not comment on two other conditions given in the 2006 verdict which dealt with adequacy of representation of SC/ST in promotion and not to disturb administrative efficiency.

The court’s verdict came on petitions seeking that a seven-judge bench reconsiders the court’s 2006 judgement which had put conditions for granting quota benefits in job promotions for SC/ST employees.

(With PTI inputs)