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Written by: Riya Ganguly (Intern)

Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)

The Central Government on 21st September has applied to a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Justice B.R Gavai and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, seeking clarification in respect of the judgment delivered in the case of Siddaraju v. the State of Karnataka, wherein the court held that persons with disabilities have right to reservation in promotions.

 

SIDDARAJU V. STATE OF KARNATAKA (SPECIAL LEAVE TO APPEAL (CIVIL) NO. 24994 OF 2016)

The question in the case arose whether persons, governed under The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, could be given reservation in a promotion or not.

The Counsel for the State argued that the judgement in the case of Indira Sawhney vs Union of India (1992 Supp (3) SCC 217) prohibited reservation in promotion. It further said that persons suffering from disability certainly required preferential treatment, which could be given to them via reservation in appointment but not reservation in promotion.

The petitioner contended that the rule of no reservation in promotions as laid down in Indira Sawhney did not apply to PwD as the principle laid down in the said case was applicable only when the State sought to give preferential treatment in the matter of employment the backward classes, and hence, the State was not disabled by Article 16(4) to give preferential treatment to PwD as and when required.

The court, thereafter, approved the view taken by the two-judge bench in 2016 in the case of Rajiv Kumar Gupta v. Union Of India ((2016) 13 SCC 153) wherein the court took an affirmative view in respect of the reservation in promotion for the disabled ones and held them to be valid.

PRESENT SUBMISSIONS

ARGUMENT BY THE STATE COUNSEL:

  • The counsel said that there was no reservation for SC/ST for lateral induction from state services to central services. Hence, PWD reservation for such lateral induction would be abnormal and atypical.
  • Clarification was sought if the PwD quota in promotions would apply to all the posts of Group A or only to the lower rungs as like ones given to SC/ST/ OBC.
  • Further, the counsel submitted that as regards the interpretation of the Rajiv Kumar Gupta case, cannot be understood as saying that PwD reservation would apply in all promotions, for otherwise, any other interpretation could result in practical problems in their implementation.
  • Clarification was further sought whether the Siddaraju judgement would apply concerning the 2016 Act as well for the given judgment was rendered in the context of the PwD Act 1995 which has been replaced by the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act 2016 that prescribes 4 % reservation (as against 3 % reservation under 1995 Act) and includes more categories of benchmark disabilities

 

PETITIONER ARGUMENT

  • Responding to the submission of ASG about the lack of SC/ST reservations in lateral inductions and higher levels, the counsel submitted that the PwD reservation was statutory and was therefore not comparable to SC/ ST reservation.
  • The counsel argued that the core issue i.e. lateral induction from state services to central services was settled by the court in its judgement. Hence, the centre cannot reopen the already settled issue. Thereby, filing of the current MA (miscellaneous application) by the centre is a blatant attempt to undo the judgement.
  • Further, as per the judgement of Rajiv Kumar Gupta, once the post was notified, the mode of recruitment shall not be a ground to deny reservation.
  • The clarifications sought by the centre about the application of Siddaraju judgement in respect of the 2016 Act, was already covered and explained by the 2020 judgement of the court wherein it was clarified that the court dealt with the CASE UNDER 1995 ACT.

 

HELD

In the context of the above submissions, the bench ordered a further hearing of the case on the next day.

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