SC, ST quota in promotions: government gives data, says enough to show low numbers

ONE DAY after the Supreme Court asked it for data showing inadequate representation of listed castes and tribes in public employment to justify reserving promotions for them, the Center on Wednesday produced figures it said were sufficient to establish their small number.

Additional Solicitor General Balbir Singh told a three-judge bench led by Judge L Nageswara Rao that, according to the data, the total number in the categories of Groups A, B and C in 19 ministries is 15.34% for SC and 6.18% for ST.

The bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai, heard a series of petitions from the Center and from the States highlighting the problems related to the implementation of two judgments of the Constitution bench setting the guidelines for booking promotions. .

To a question from the court, Singh said the figure includes candidates in the reserved category who are selected on merit.

He said that “the data collected… pass the representational adequacy test”.

“The tribunal should only intervene if any arbitrariness is reflected in the Centre’s decision… beyond that, the tribunal should not intervene,” he said.

The bench said if the government’s argument that this data is sufficient was accepted, there would be a problem. “In the data you provided, some classes have more than what was prescribed. And, if that is your argument, the booking of some courses will have to be stopped, ”Judge Rao said.

The court pointed out that data produced by the government showed that the representation in group A is low, it said that it is as if the government is ensuring adequate representation by adjusting in groups B and C, “which Is not fair”.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, justifying the need to reserve in promotions, said: “It is a reality because we are not in a position, after 75 years, to bring SC and ST to the same level of merit. “

“They are admitted at the entry level, thereafter there is no reservation,” he said, adding that “the time has come for your lordships to give concrete foundations to the SC, ST and OBC to fill vacancies “.

The bench, however, clarified that it was not the issue of CBOs but the reservation of promotion to SC and ST.