Supreme Court concluded the Nagaraj judgement does not need to be referred to a larger bench of 7-judges.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to set up 7-judge bench to review its 2006 order on the SC/ST quota in job promotions.
In a unanimous verdict, the apex court ruled that there will be no reservation in promotion for SC/STs in government jobs.
“There is a need for quantifiable data to give reservation,” the apex court said.
The court concluded the Nagaraj judgement does not need to be referred to a larger bench.
Supreme Court also said there is no need to collect data on SC/ST in reservation in promotion in government services.
The verdict was delivered by a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, S K Kaul and Indu Malhotra were also part of the bench that had reserved the verdict in the case on August 30.
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.
The bench, however, 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 Centre and various state governments had sought reconsideration of the 2006 verdict on various grounds, including that the members of the SC and ST communities are presumed to be backward and considering their stigma of caste, they should be given reservation even in job promotions.
The Centre has alleged that the verdict in the M Nagraj case had put unnecessary conditions in granting quota benefits to the SC and ST employees and sought its reconsideration by a larger bench.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, had strongly argued in favour of granting quota to SC and ST employees, saying there was a presumption of backwardness in their favour.
He had said the SC and ST communities have been facing caste-based discrimination for long and the stigma of caste is attached to them despite the fact that some of them have come up.
However, during one of the hearings, senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who represents those opposing quota in promotions, had told the bench that earlier there was presumption of backwardness with regard to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities.
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 service, he had claimed.
Dwivedi had also said quota in promotions for SC/ST may be continued for class-IV and class-III services, but should not be allowed for higher services.
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.