State government to move to Supreme Court against Bombay High Court ruling on quota in promotion

Mumbai: The state government has decided to protect over 13,000 employees who got promotion because of reservation and are on the verge of revert as the Bombay High Court has opined the reservation policy in promotion is illegal and unconstitutional.

The opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party members urged government to protect promotions of the reserved candidates and demanded to make changes in the rules if necessary. The chief minister has assured to challenge the verdict of HC in Supreme Court. On July 25, the HC had opined that the government’s 2004 rules providing 33 percent reservation in promotions in all departments of the state government as well as public bodies like the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and BEST was unconstitutional and illegal.

Sunil Tatkare, state president of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and member of the state legislative council (MLC), said that the state should issue notification on the lines of Karnataka government in this regard. “Karnataka government have decided to protect reserved candidates by issuing notification or an ordinance. On the same line, Maharashtra should act and protect rights of Dalit and other employees fall under the reserved category. It will be a mess in administration if all over 13,000 employees would revert back to their lower post,” said Tatkare.

Leader of Banjara community and Congress MLC Haribhau Rathod said that not only state government but other employees of local bodies up to gram panchayat also would face the impact of court verdict. “There must be over one lakh employees who have promoted in last 13 years in various government departments. The government should handle this issue sensibly and protect all those candidates who have been promoted,” said Rathod.

The issue before the court was the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra State Public Services (Reservations) Act enacted in 2001 and a May, 2004 government circular. The Act provided reservations in direct recruitments of up to 52 percent for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), De-notified Tribes (Vimukta Jatis), Nomadic Tribes, Special Backward Category (SBCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

The circular of May 25, 2004 provided for 33 percent reservation in promotions for these communities as 13 percent for SC, 7 percent for ST, and the remaining 13 percent for NT, VJDT and SBC. State government, however, was requested Bombay High Court to grant stay for three months which was granted by the court. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that it is very difficult to revert all promotions in a day and it may lead to collapse the administrative structure.

“The state government have decided to challenge the decision in Supreme Court. We will take opinion of the advocate general and secretary of the law and judiciary department. The state will try to convince Attorney General to take up the matter in SC on behalf of the state government or will appoint top advocate,” said Fadnavis.

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