Leader of opposition from Congress, Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday slammed the BJP-led Central government over the Supreme Court's verdict on reservation in promotion. Kharge said that the BJP and the RSS were against the reservation policy and are trying to get it scrapped for a long time now. Kharge also mentioned that the government of India must either amend Article 16 or file a review petition.
Addressing the media Kharge said, "This issue will affect from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from West Bengal to Gujarat. I am saying when this case was pending in court, the Uttarkhand government advocate did not argue in favour of reservation. That's why I am saying BJP's intention is not good for weaker people. Now the Government of India should either amend Constitution Article 16 or file review petition and ask for a bigger bench. BJP wants to finish the Constitution, reservation. This time they ended reservation in promotion. They are moving step by step."
"The SC ruled that reservation in jobs & promotion is not a fundamental right. It has worried marginalized communities. We'll protest against it, in and outside Parliament. BJP & RSS have been trying to get reservations scrapped for a long time," he added.
The Supreme Court has held that states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments and there is no fundamental right to claim quota in promotions. The apex court said this while dealing with pleas regarding Uttarakhand government's September 5, 2012 decision to fill up all posts in public services in the state without providing reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
"In view of the law laid down by this court, there is no doubt that the state government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions. No mandamus can be issued by the court directing the state government to provide reservation. However, if they (state) wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the state has to collect quantifiable data showing the inadequacy of representation of that class in public services," a bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said in its verdict.
The government's decision was challenged in the Uttarakhand High Court, which struck it down. Dealing with the appeals against the high court verdict, the top court noted, "It is settled law that the state government cannot be directed to provide reservations for appointment in public posts. Similarly, the state is not bound to make a reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in matters of promotions."
(with inputs from agencies)