Reservation in Promotion with analysis of Mukesh Kumar v. The State of Uttarakhand

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This post has been written by Mamta Kumari, a fourth year Law student from Banasthali Vidyapith

INTRODUCTION

Reservation policy is being followed since long time in India so as to bring each community on the same footing and away from inequality. For such purpose Constitution of India has incorporated special provisions and several pronouncements were also made by Indian Judiciary.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 
This has been a long issue between Supreme Court and Government pertaining to the reservation. There were series of acts which relates to reservation

1) 1992Indra Sawhney and Ors. V. Union of India
In this case nine-judge bench ruled that Article 16(4) of Constitution on India is only confined to the reservation in appointment and do not extends to the reservation in promotion.
2) 1995 – 77th Constitutional Amendment [Article 16(4A)]
The effect of the Indra Sawhney case has been nullified by the 77th Constitutional Amendment by introducing Article 16(4A) which states that the state can provide reservation in promotion to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes when the state believes that they are not adequately represented in the government services.
3) 1996 – Ajit Singh v. State of Punjab
In this case the Catchup Rule was introduced as when the reservation in promotion was recognized by the 77th Amendment, a situation started arising that when the candidates of reserved category were promoted over the general class, they become their senior due to promotion. In this case the court held that the candidates who were promoted after SC/ST candidates will regain their seniority over them who were promoted earlier.
4) 1996 – S Vinod Kumar v. Union of India
In this case it was held that relaxations in the qualifying marks for reservation in promotion was not permissible in Article 16(4) and the reservation is subject to the administrative efficiency under Article 335.
5) 2000 – 81st Constitutional Amendment [Article-16(4B)]
In this amendment Carry forward rule was introduced where the state is allowed to carry forward the unfulfilled vacancies of the previous year to be fulfilled in the succeeding year. such class of vacancies shall not be considered together with the vacancies of the year in which they are being filled.
6) 2000 – 82nd Constitutional Amendment [Added proviso to Article- 335]
This amendment reverses the judgment of S Vinod Kumar v. Union of India where it was held that the relaxation in the qualifying marks is not permissible in the matter of reservation in promotion. The amendment reversed and stated that the state is allowed to make relaxation in the qualifying marks for the reservation in promotion in the class of SC/STs to any class of public services or post.
7) 2001 – 85th Constitutional Amendment [Article-(4A)]
in this amendment the Parliament nullified the catchup rule introduced in Ajit Kumar v. State of Punjab and introduced the principle of consequential seniority to the promoted candidates of SC/STs.
8) 2006 – M Nagaraj v. Union of India
In this case the above amendments i.e. 71st, 81st, 82nd, and 85th was challenged by the petitioner and the Supreme Court upheld them and hence, declared them constitutional. But the Supreme Court introduced certain conditions upon the matter of reservation i.e. of backwardness, inadequacy in representation in public employment and the administrative efficiency.
9) 2017 – State of Tripura v. Jayant Chakraborty
In this case the judgment of Nagaraj case was challenged before the Supreme Court as the controlling conditions which was introduced in that case made it difficult to provide reservation in promotion.
10) 2018 – Jarnail Singh v. Lacchmi Narain Gupta
In this case the principle of exclusion of creamy layer was introduced where the people of SC/STs who belong to the creamy layer in their community will not be granted reservation. And held that the state would not have to consider the backwardness criteria for the promotion as it is would not have to collect any quantifiable data for it but still have to apply the inadequately represented criteria.
11) 2019 – BK Pavitra v. Union of India
In this case the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Karnataka Reservation Act, 2018 by stating that the state was successful in demonstrating that the people of SC/STs were not adequately represented and the statute provided the consequential seniority.

CASE OVERVIEW

Title of the case – MUKESH V. THE STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
Date of Decision – 7 February 2020
Court – Supreme Court of India
Bench – L Nageswara and Hemant Gupta
PartiesAppellant: Mukesh
              Respondent: The State of Uttarakhand

Factual background
In this case the controversy which goes in appeals pertaining to the reservation in promotion in the public jobs of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes for the post of Assistant Civil Engineer in Public Works, Department, Government of Uttarakhand.

Issue
Whether the state is bound to provide reservation in public post to the candidates of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled tribes?

Decision
Bench comprising L Nageswara and Hemant Gupta passed in a group of appeals challenging the Uttarakhand High Court rulings concerning reservation to the candidates of the SC/STs in the public work.

The Supreme Court ruled that the State Government is not bound to make reservations in the public post on the promotions to the members of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes.

Further the Court ruled that there is no fundamental right of the people to claim reservation in promotion in the public posts.

Even no mandamus can be issued by the court directing the State Government for providing the reservation in the public works as the state has discretion in providing in reservation.

The collection of data by the state Government is only made for justifying the reservation in the matter of appointment and promotion for the public post as per Article 16(4) and 16(4A) of Indian Constitution.

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