After the Supreme Court said that the states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments and that there is no fundamental right to claim quota in promotions, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the decision, saying that it is the idea of the BJP and the RSS, to erase reservation.
Further, Gandhi said that this comes because the RSS and the BJP cannot stand the idea that people from the lower castes have advantages. “These rights are guaranteed in our Constitution,” Gandhi said.
“We will never let reservation end, no matter how much Modi or Bhagwat dream about it.”Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader
The Supreme Court has held that states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments and there is no fundamental right to claim quota in promotions.
"In view of the law laid down by this court, there is no doubt that the state government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions," a bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said.
“No mandamus can be issued by the court directing the state government to provide reservations.”SC Bench
The apex court said this while dealing with pleas regarding Uttarakhand government's 5 September 2012 decision to fill up all posts in public services in the state without providing reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The government's decision was challenged in the Uttarakhand High Court, which struck it down.
Dealing with the appeals against the high court verdict, the top court noted, "It is settled law that the state government cannot be directed to provide reservations for appointment in public posts. Similarly, the state is not bound to make reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in matters of promotions."
“However, if they (state) wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the state has to collect quantifiable data showing inadequacy of representation of that class in public services.”SC Bench
While upholding the Uttarakhand government's September 2012 notification, the apex court said that as the government is not bound to provide reservation in promotions, the high court should not have declared the state's decision as illegal.
Referring to constitutional provision about reservation, the bench said, “It is for the state government to decide whether reservations are required in the matter of appointment and promotions to public posts.”
It noted that Article 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) of the Constitution empowers the state to make reservations in matters of appointment and promotion in favour of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes "if in the opinion of state they are not adequately represented in the services of the state".
"The language in clauses (4) and (4-A) of Article 16 is clear, according to which, the inadequacy of representation is a matter within the subjective satisfaction of the state," the bench said, adding, "All that is required is that there must be some material on the basis of which the opinion is formed."
Cong, LJP Disagree With SC Ruling
Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday, 9 February, demanded that the union government either file a review petition in the Supreme Court or amend the Constitution to make reservation a fundamental right in the wake of the recent apex court order.
“At least now the Government of India should wake up. They can either take up this matter and amend the Constitution related to Article 16(4)(b) or (c) after consulting the law department or file a review petition,asking that a constitutional bench should hear the case.”Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Leader
Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik said the party will raise the issue inside and outside Parliament.
"We respectfully say that we do not agree with this decision...the rights of Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes are not secured under the BJP government," Wasnik said.
"The Congress party believes that the appointment of SC/ST people to government posts should not be at the discretion of governments, but it is the fundamental right conferred by the Constitution," he said.
BJP ally Lok Janshakti Party asked the Union government on Sunday to take immediate measures to ensure that the reservation benefits for the scheduled castes and tribes besides the backward classes continue in the same manner as they have been for decades.
LJP president Chirag Paswan tweeted to express his party's disagreement with a Supreme Court decision that states are not bound to give quota to these communities in government jobs or promotion.
"The LJP does not agree with this decision of the Supreme Court... The party demands that the Union government take immediate measures to ensure that the reservation provision continues in jobs and promotion im the same they have been so far," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)