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November 18, 2017

Reservation in Promotion: Constitution Bench to hear the case, Request for Interim relief denied


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New Delhi: The Reservation in Promotion case (CA no. 005247/2016 and SLP (C) No 013954/2016 both registered on 9 May 2016) was on Tuesday (14 November 2017) referred to the Constitution Bench by an order passed by a two Judge Bench comprising of Justice Kurian Joseph and Mrs. Justice R. Banumathi.

Supreme Court Order yesterday passed by the two judge Bench comprising of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R Banumathi says: The questions posed in these cases involve the interpretation of Articles 16(4), 16(4A) and 16(4B) of the Constitution of India in the backdrop of mainly three Constitution Bench decisions:

  1. Indra Sawhney and others v. Union of India and others
  2. E.V Chinnaiah v. State of A.P. and others, and
  3. M. Nagaraj and others v. Union of India and others

 

One crucially relevant aspect brought to the notice of the Bench is that Nagaraj and Chinnaiah, both cases deal with the “disputed subject namely backwardness of the SC/ST but the Chinnaiah case which came earlier in time has not been referred to in Nagaraj case. The question of further and finer interpretation on the application of Article 16(4A) has also arisen in this (reservation in promotion) case. Extensive arguments have been advanced from both sides. The petitioners have argued for a re-look of the order in the Nagaraj case specifically on the ground that test of backwardness ought not to be applied to SC/ST in view of Indra Sawhney case and the Chinnaiah case.

The counsel for the respondents have referred to the cases of Suraj Bhan Meena and Another v. State of Rajasthan and others to contend that the request for a revisit cannot be entertained ad nauseam. However, apart from the clamour for revisit, further questions were also raised about application of the principle of creamy layer in situations of competing claims within the same races, communities, groups or parts thereof of SC/ST notified by the President under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution of India.

The latest order of the Supreme Court goes on to add: “Having regard to the questions involved in this case, we are of the opinion that this is a case to be heard by a Bench as per the constitutional mandate under Article 145(3) of the Constitution of India. Ordered accordingly. The order says that the files be placed before the Chief Justice of India immediately.

The November 14 2017 order by the two Judge Bench further says that though the counsel have pressed for interim relief, we are of the view that even that stage needs to be considered by the Constitution Bench. The parties are free to mention the urgency before the Chief Justice of India.

 

Recent hearing in Supreme Court: Timeline and orders passed

26-10-2017

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R
Heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties.
Arguments remained unconcluded.
List on 31.10.2017 as Part Heard.

25-10-2017

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R
Arguments heard, which remained inconclusive.
For further hearing list tomorrow i.e. on 26.10.2017 as Part
Heard.

24-10-2017

Heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties.
Arguments remained unconcluded.
List tomorrow i.e. on 25.10.2017 as Part Heard.

10-10-2017

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R
List tomorrow i.e. on 11.10.2017 at 11.30 AM for preliminary
hearing.

10-08-2017

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R
List on 7th September, 2017 on top of the list
subject to overnight part-heard and earlier orders on
top.

 

07-09-2017

UPON being mentioned the Court made the following
O R D E R
List on 10.10.2017 as 10.30 a.m.

 

 

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