On 26th September 2018, the Court delivered its verdict in the Reservation in Promotion case. A five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court unanimously held that the judgment delivered in Nagaraj in 2006, relating to reservations in promotions for SC/ST persons, does not need reconsideration by a larger seven-judge Bench. The Bench also struck the demonstration of further backwardness criterion from Nagaraj but add the principle of creamy layer exclusion for reservation in promotion. Justice Nariman wrote the unanimous opinion.
We look at some of the pieces that have analysed the issue of reservation in promotion for SC/STs
In a piece written for the Hindu, D. Shyam Babu argued that in applying the principle of creamy layer exclusion to SC/STs, the court misundertood the differing rationale of reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and SC/STs. While OBC reservation is for addressing social and educational backwardness, the SC/ST is for addressing untouchability prevalent in Indian society.
Shoaib Daniyal from the Scroll.in in opposing introduction of creamy layer test for SC/ST reservation in promotion takes the argument similar to Shyam Babu. He says that creamy layer exclusion test is applicable for OBC because it aims at addressing economic backwardness. But the rationale of reservation for SC/ST is to end discrimination based on caste which has been a feature of the Indian society for thousands of years.
Dr. Rajeev Dhavan supports the judgment. Writing for the Daily O, he says that equality and constitutional reasonableness are basic features of the constitution and cannot be given short shrift for achieving social justice. He suspects that Parliament will try to nullify the effect of recent judgment by bringing in a constitutional amendment.