The Supreme Court has passed a judgment, ruling that reservation in promotion in public posts cannot be claimed as a fundamental right. This was in response to appeals pertaining to the reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in promotions in the posts of Assistant Engineer (Civil) in Public Works Department of Uttarakhand.
Opposition parties are up in arms since then, saying that the BJP led government is responsible for this step. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has said that he will not allow the BJP/RSS to scrap reservations.
“BJP & RSS’s ideology is against reservations. They never want SC/STs to progress. They’re breaking the institutional structure. I want to tell SC/ST/OBC&Dalits that we’ll never let reservations come to an end no matter how much Modi Ji or Mohan Bhagwat dream of it,” Gandhi said to the media outside the Parliament.
Rahul Gandhi: BJP & RSS's ideology is against reservations. They never want SC/STs to progress. They're breaking the institutional structure. I want to tell SC/ST/OBC&Dalits that we'll never let reservations come to an end no matter how much Modi Ji or Mohan Bhagwat dream of it. pic.twitter.com/eyCLigBa8q
— ANI (@ANI) February 10, 2020
However, Rahul Gandhi would do well to talk to Uttarakhand Congress, whose government was responsible for this crisis.
Congress Issued The Original Notification In 2012
On September 5, 2012, the Uttarakhand Government had issued a notification, stating that all posts in public services in the State would be filled up without providing any reservation to SC/ST candidates, when Vijay Bahuguna of the Congress party was the Chief Minister.
In 2011, a petition had filed that had challenged Section 3 (7) of the Uttar Pradesh Public Services (Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes) Act 1994, adopted by Uttarakhand, in the Nainital High Court. The section essentially states that
(7) If, on the date of commencement of this Act, reservation was in force under Government Orders for appointment to posts to be filled by promotion, such Government Orders shall continue to be applicable till they are modified or revoked.
Section 3 (7) was challenged on the basis of the argument that backwardness of the SC and ST needs to be quantified first before extending such reservations. Subsequently, the Uttarakhand government issued a government order on September 5, 2012 stating that in view of HC judgment, the benefit of Section 3 (7) cannot be extended in future in promotional exercise carried by the state government.