Supreme Court Judgement: Reservation in promotion for SC & ST
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
Civil Appeal No. 1226 of 2020
[Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No. 23701 of 2019]
Mukesh Kumar & Anr.
The State of Uttarakhand & Ors.
Civil Appeal No. 1227 of 2020
[Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No. 22640 of 2019]
Civil Appeal No. 1228 of 2020
[Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No. 25508 of 2019]
Civil Appeal No. 1229 of 2020
[Arising out of Dy. No.39572 of 2019 @S.L.P. (Civil) No. 3668
Civil Appeal No. 1230 of 2020
[Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No. 27715 of 2019]
Civil Appeal No. 1231 of 2020
[Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No. 28039 of 2019]
Civil Appeal No. 1232 of 2020
[Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No. 27735 of 2019]
Civil Appeal No. 1233 of 2020
[Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No. 28947 of 2019]
J U D G M E N T
L. NAGESWARA RAO, J.
1. The Controversy in the above Appeals pertains to the reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in promotions in the posts of Assistant Engineer (Civil) in Public Works Department, Government of Uttarakhand.
2. The Uttar Pradesh Public Services (Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes) Act, 1994 (for short “the 1994 Act”) provided for reservation in public services and posts in favour of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes of citizens. Section 3(1) of the said Act stipulated reservation at the stage of direct recruitment. According to Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act, the Government Orders providing reservation for appointment to public posts filled up by promotion which were existing on the date of commencement of the 1994 Act shall continue till they are modified or revoked. After the formation of the State of Uttarakhand in 2001, the Uttar Pradesh Public Services (Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Caste Reservation) Act, 1994 was made applicable to the State of Uttaranchal by a Notification dated 30.08.2001 with a modification in the percentage of reservations. 21% reservation for Scheduled Castes was modified to 19% and 2% for Scheduled Tribes was increased to 4%. Likewise, 21% reservation provided in the 1994 Act for Other Backward Classes was altered to 14%.
3. A Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad in Mukund Kumar Shrivastava v. State of U.P.1 upheld the validity of Rule 8-A of the Uttar Pradesh Servants Government Seniority Rules, 1991 (for short “the Seniority Rules”) which dealt with consequential seniority of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Later, in Prem Kumar Singh v. State of U.P.2, another Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench held that the judgment in Mukund Kumar Shrivastava (supra) is per incuriam and not a binding precedent. In Prem Kumar Singh’s case (supra), the High Court declared Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act and Rule 8-A of the Seniority Rules unconstitutional. While declaring the correctness of the judgments of the High Court, this Court by its judgment in Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation v. Rajesh Kumar3 held that Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act is unconstitutional insofar as it is contrary to the dictum in M. Nagaraj & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.4
4. The challenge to Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act, as extended to the State of Uttarakhand, was upheld by the High Court of Uttarakhand in Vinod Prakash Nautiyal & Others v. State of Uttarakhand & Others5. Relying upon the judgment of this Court in U.P. Power Corporation (supra), the High Court of Uttarakhand declared Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act unconstitutional and directed that no promotion can be given by the State by taking recourse to Section 3(7) of the 1994 Act. The application filed for review of the judgment in Vinod Prakash Nautiyal (supra) was dismissed.