Reservation Current Affairs

Cabinet extends tenure of Commission constituted to examine issue of OBC sub-categorisation

The Union Cabinet has given final extension to commission constituted to examine sub-categorisation within Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Central list. The commission earlier had term till June 20, 2018 but with extension it will now work till July 31, 2018.

Key Facts

The Commission was constituted with approval of President under Article 340 of Constitution in October, 2017. It is headed by Justice (Retd.) G. Rohini. It was tasked to examine extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes included in broad category of OBCs, especially with reference to OBCs included in Central list. It was also tasked to take up exercise of identifying respective castes, sub-castes, communities synonyms in Central List of OBCs and classify them into their respective sub-categories. It mandate was to work out mechanism, norms, criteria and parameters, in scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs.

Background

The Supreme Court of India in Indra Sawhney and others vs. Union of India case (1992) had observed that there is no constitutional or legal bar on states for categorizing OBCs as backward or more backward. It had also observed that it is not impermissible in law if state chooses to do sub-categorization. So far, 9 states/UTs viz. Karnataka, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Telangana, Wst Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have carried out sub-categorization of OBCs. So far there was no sub categorisation in central list of OBCs.

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Reservations in Promotions: Centre gets go ahead from SC

The Supreme Court has allowed Centre to go ahead with reservation in promotion for SC/ST employees as per the law. From the centre’s behalf, the Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh had pleased SC to allow promotions, which were on standstill, as per mandate of the constitution. This plea was accepted by SC bench hearing the case.

Background

With respect to the reservation in promotions in government jobs, the Supreme Court verdict in M Nagaraj Case (2006) that concept of creamy layer is not applicable to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Two earlier cases viz. Indra Sawhney Case (1992) and E V Chinnaiah versus State of Andhra Pradesh (2005) had dealt with the issue of creamy layer for Other Backward Classes. On this basis, the centre had issued an order in 2017 extending reservation in promotions to SC and ST employees beyond five years from November 16,1992. This government order was challenged in Delhi High Court. The Delhi High Court quashed the Central Government order and thus, the promotions came to at standstill.

Central Government later approached Supreme Court for relief and the current SC order provides that much needed relief to Centre.

What next?

The case is still sub judice in Supreme Court. A constitutional bench will examine the issue as to whether the M Nagaraj judgement, which dealt with the issue of application of the ‘creamy layer’ for reservation to SC and ST categories in promotion in government jobs, should be re-examined or not.

Reservation in Promotions

Reservations in promotions are mandated by Article 16 (4A) of the constitution. This article is an enabling provision and enables the state to provide for reservation in matters of promotion to SC/ST which in its opinion were not adequately represented in the services.

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