- The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act 2018.
- The act provides for consequential seniority to persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes promoted under the reservation policy of the State of Karnataka.
- Earlier,the Karnataka Determination of Seniority of the Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of the Reservation Act 2002 was held to be unconstitutional in BK Pavitra case on the ground that an exercise for determining ‘inadequacy of representation’,’backwardness’ and the impact on ‘overall efficiency’ had not preceded the enactment of the law.
- In Indra Sawhney vs Union of India, the Supreme Court had held that reservations under Article 16(4) could only be provided at the time of entry into government service but not in matters of promotion.
- In 1995, Parliament had brought the 77th amendment by which clause (4A) was inserted into Article 16 to enable reservation to be made in promotion for SCs and STs.
- The validity of the 77th amendment to the Constitution and of the legislation enacted in pursuance of those amendments was challenged before the Supreme Court in the Nagaraj case.The SC upheld the constitutional validity of these amendments.
- It ruled that if the state wished to exercise their discretion and make provision (for reservation in promotions for SCs/STs),the State has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation and compliance to Article 335.It will have to see that it’s reservation provision does not breach the ceiling-limit of 50%.
- Article 335 recognises that special measures need to be adopted for considering the claims of SCs and STs in order to bring them to a level-playing field. Centuries of discrimination and prejudice suffered by the SCs and STs in a feudal, caste-oriented societal structure poses real barriers of access to opportunity.
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