Another day without hearing in Reservation in Promotion case: What about the ongoing injustice?
New Delhi: None of the cases listed today in Supreme Court before the two Judge bench, comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R. Banumathi, could be taken up for hearing. Under the circumstances, the Bench was apprised by the advocates representing SAPAKS° on behalf of government employees belonging to the unreserved category about the seriousness of the Reservation in Promotion case of Madhya Pradesh. It was also stated by the advocates that due to lack of hearing in this matter and the earlier Court order for maintaining status quo, all promotions in Madhya Pradesh are held up and thousands of employees are being forced to retire from service without promotions.
The Supreme Court Bench passed an order today fixing 10 October as the next date of hearing in this matter. Present on behalf of Sapaks (respondents) in Supreme Court today was senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani, along with Naresh Kaushik and Kumar Parimal.
Under the prevailing circumstances, when the Government of Madhya Pradesh is adamant and is bent upon pressing its appeal in Supreme Court, where the hearing has just not progressed in last 18 months, Question arises – who should bear the responsibility for the ongoing injustice as thousands of government employees belonging to the unreserved category are retiring without promotion?
Earlier when the reservation in promotion case of Madhya Pradesh came up for hearing in the Supreme Court on March 29, the Court had clubbed it with a similar case from Tripura and fixed August 10 as the next date for hearing. On August 10,
The reservation in promotion case, having a direct bearing on the fate of hundreds of thousands of government employees belonging to the unreserved category in Madhya Pradesh, which has been clubbed with a series of cases from Tripura and Bihar had come up for hearing before the two Judge Bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R. Banumathi on 10 August 2017 after a gap of about four-and-half months. On this day, the related matters were heard for a short time but due to the non-availability of Justice Banumathi later in August, the next date of hearing in this case was fixed as 7 September 2017.
On 30 April 2016, the Jabalpur High Court had given a landmark judgment on the issue of reservation in promotions (in government service) for the SC/ST category by declaring as ultra vires and non-est in law the provision relating to reservation, backlog, vacancies, carry forward of backlog vacancies and the operation of roster, contained in the Madhya Pradesh Rules of 2002.
The High Court said in its order that the provision for reservation for promotions granted to the SC/ST category under Madhya pradesh Rules 2002 runs contrary to the constitutional provisions contained in clause (4A) and (4B) of Article 16 and Article 335 of the Constitution. The High Court also ordered that all those who had been promoted under the Madhya Pradesh reserservation in promotion rules 2002 be reverted.
The Madhya Pradesh Government, instead of obeying the Madhya Pradesh High Court order that struck down Madhya Pradesh provision for reservation in promotions in state government departments for those belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Schedules Tribe (SC/ST) category, went ahead and challenged it in the Supreme Court.
Postscript: Responding to the appeal by the Madhya Pradesh Government, the Supreme Court stayed the Madhya Pradesh High Court order last year. Since then, the hearing in this matter has got postponed due to one or the other reason every time the Court took up this matter. Under the prevailing circumstances, when the Government of Madhya Pradesh is adamant and is bent upon pressing its appeal in Supreme Court, where the hearing has just not progressed in last 18 months, Question arises – who should bear the responsibility for the ongoing injustice as thousands of government employees belonging to the unreserved category are retiring without promotion?
° SAPAKS – Samanya Pichda Alpsankhyak Adhikari Karmchari Sanstha ( General, Backward, Minorities Officers & Employees’ Society)