The hearing in the reservation in promotion case is continuously getting adjourned due to one or the other reason. This case was not taken up for hearing today as the court had ordered that the hearing in yesterday’s part-heard case, which normally should have been listed for February 27, would be taken up today. When senior Supreme Court advocate Ram Jethmalani, who appeared on behalf of the State officers and employees from the unreserved category (SAPAKS) sought direction from the court, February 28 was fixed as the next date of hearing in this case. The matter has again been kept on top of the board.
As the case is getting prolonged and in the absence of any decision or direction by the apex court in this matter, all promotions across Madhya Pradesh Government departments have been held up while a large number of state employees and officers are retiring each month without getting promoted. The reservation in promotion regime backed by a 2002 Rule that was declared null and void by the Jabalpur High Court on April 30 last year has already played havoc with the career prospects of the officers from the reserved category who have been denied promotion on the basis of merit and seniority. On the other extreme, there those from the SC and ST categories, who are rank juniors with adverse service record and they have benefitted from the reservation policy and climbed the ladders of success and have even been posted as heads of departments. The matter is now pending before the Supreme Court as the Madhya Pradesh Government has challenged the High Court order in the apex court.
When a cross-section of employees and officers, who are now running out of patience, were contacted and asked to share their reaction on further postponement of hearing in this case, they shared their frustration and most were unanimous in pointing out how frustrating it is to note that there is no hearing in the case even though every time it gets listed as top of the board. A few of them also echoed the legal maxim “Justice delayed is justice denied”.
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