The Supreme Court on 28th January 2022 Friday refused to lay down a yardstick for determining adequacy of representation in granting promotions to schedule caste (SC) and schedule tribe (ST) employees in government jobs. A three bench judges, justices NAGESWARA RAO, SANJIV KHANNA and B.R. GAVAI, said that states are obligated to collect data on the inadequacy of representation of SCs/STs.

The bench said that collection of quantifiable data is mandatory apart from assessment of inadequacy of representation after a periodic review is done. The review period should be determined by the central government, it said. The bench added that a ‘cadre’ should be the unit of assessment and not the entire service. “cadre, which should be the unit for collection of quantifiable data in relation to promotional posts, would be meaningless if data pertaining to the representation of SC/ST is with reference to the entire service”, it observed.

The apex court said that it has left it to the states to asses inadequacy of representation of SCs/STs in promotion of post by taking into account relevant factors. Earlier , the centre had told the bench that it is a fact of life that even after around 75 years of independence those belonging to SCs and STs have not been brought to the same level of merit as the forward classes.


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