Sunday, February 25, 2024

Amend Constitution on SC/ST promotion quota


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New Delhi, May 3 (PTI) BSP on Thursday demanded a Constitutional amendment to provide promotions to SC and ST employees in jobs in view of Supreme Court quashing Uttar Pradesh government’s decision on quota benefits to them in promotions.

Raising the issue of reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in promotions during service through a short duration discussion, Satish Chandra Misra (BSP) said such a situation has arisen which requires the matter to be taken up by this House.

“Otherwise, it will lead to a very bad situation,” said Misra, adding that “looking at the gravity of the situation, it is necessary to have such an intervention….it is necessary to have such an amendment…such a situation has arisen that the rights of SCs and STs are being snatched…exploited,” he said.

Seeking support of various parties to bring about such an amendment, he said, “Parliament has to consider this now… President cannot refer the matter to Supreme Court. That is not the remedy.”

Misra said the SC and ST employees have been affected and will have to revert to their original posts if this SC ruling is not changed.

He said it is an “attempt to end the purpose of granting reservation to SC/ST and their rights”.

Misra pointed out that the matter has already been raised by BSP leader Mayawati in her letter to various leaders, in which she demanded that the Centre bring a Constitutional amendment bill during the current session of the Parliament to provide for reservation to SC and ST government employees in promotions.

Mayawati in her letter had stated, “It is extremely important for the Central government to bring a Constitutional amendment during the current session of the Parliament itself” to make the Supreme Court ruling ineffective.

Misra pointed out that bringing such an amendment was the only remedy left in view of the situation that has arisen after the Supreme Court judgement.

He said every state including the Union Government has asserted that quota be reserved for SC/ST as per population. “This has been done in every state…no further inquiry is required to be conducted,” he said, adding, “If the quota has not been reached, in that case adequate representation for SC/STs is not there.”

The apex court had last week quashed UP government’s decision to provide reservation benefits for SCs, STs and OBCs in promotions saying the state failed to furnish sufficient valid data to justify the move to promote employees on caste basis.

When Misra raised the issue, Mayawati was present in the House.

Supporting Misra’s demand, Bhalchand Mungekar (Cong) said reservations policy is “enshrined in our Constitution” and the quota system has proved to an effective instrument to bridge the gap between the SC and ST and the mainstream section.

“Reservation policy has, in fact, played a level playing field,” he said.

He said there was no secretary in the government of India who belonged to SC or ST, while there were only a few SC/ST officers in the rank of director.

Supporting his view T K Rangarajan (CPI-M) regretted that even in PSUs, there are a few directors from SC or ST categories.

He suggested that the panel for promotion should also include a member from this category.

Mungekar said the Supreme Court judgement which has added the criteria of proving “socially backward” is “uncalled for and redundant”.

Thawar Chand Gehlot (BJP) demanded that the government should submit a review petition in the apex court against the judgement or carry out necessary amendments in the Constitution to negate the judgement.

Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) also demanded amendments in the Constitution to continue protecting the rights of the SC and ST, saying it was the Mulayam Singh government in UP which had passed a law providing 21 per cent reservation in promotion for SC and two per cent for ST.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) also supported Misra’s demand. (PTI)


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