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RESERVATION IN PROMOTION NEED TO INCLUDE OBCs

The Supreme Court in its judgement dated 16.11.1992 in the case of Indra Sawhney and Others vs. Union of Indai and others., observed that reservation cannot extent to promotions. To overcome the effect of this judgement that has adversely affected the SC/ST employees, the Government in 1995 brought the constitutional amendment (77th amendment) by inserting a new clause (4A) in the said article 16 (4) to provide for reservation in promotion for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

At the time of passing that amendment, Hon'ble Members of Parliament in Lok Sabha in their discussion on 2nd June 1995 cutting across party lines demanded that the Government must include OBCs also and bring a comprehensive bill covering SC, ST and OBCs. Hon'ble Members include Sharad Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Dr.Mumtaz Ansari, Krishnan Dutt Sultanpuri, Ratilal Varma, P.G.Narayanan, Syed Shahabuddin, G.M.C. Balayogi, Cheedi Paswan, Suraj Mandal, Anand Charan Das, Kamla Mishra Madhukar, Srikanta Jena, Bandaru Dattatreya, Vishwanath Shastri. Then Union Welfare Minister Sri Sitaram Kesri assured in the House that "We shall consult leaders of all political parties by convening a meeting and thereafter we shall bring a Bill definitely in this regard".

Based on the assurance given in the House, the amendment 16 (4A) was passed benefitting SC/ST employees. Article 16 (4A) states "Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for reservation in matters of promotion to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes which, in the option of the State, are not adequately represented in the services under the State."

The above amendment was challenged in the Supreme Court and while upholding the constitutional validity of the Constitution (Seventy-seventh amendment) Act, 1995 i.e. 16 (4A), Supreme Court in its judgement dated 19.10.2006 (M.Nagaraj and others vs. Union of India vs. Others) stated that "the concerned State will have to show in each case, the existence of the compelling reasons, namely, backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency before making provision for reservation".

Again in the case of U.P. Power Corporation Ltd., Vs. Rajeshkumar & Ors., (Civil Appeal 2608 of 2011) dated 27th April 2012, Hon'ble Judges Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Misra of Supreme Court in their judgement dated 27.04.2012 upheld the High court order of Uttar Pradesh and stated that the view of the High Court is based on the decision in M.Nagraj case as no exercise was undertaken in terms of Article 16 (4-A) to acquire quantifiable data regarding the inadequacy of representation of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities in public services.

Now that the Government has informed the House that an all party meeting will convened on 21st August 2012 to discuss the effects of Supreme Court judgement dated 27.04.2012 and to arrive at a consensus and to formulate suitable legislation to protect the interest of SC/STs.

In this regard, it is to be noted that the representation of OBCs in the services of the government and public sector undertakings is not only inadequate but very very minimum. As per the statistics given by the DoPT in their annual reports, the OBCs represent roughly represent 5% in Class I services. The following data will testify the statement.

1. The representation of OBC in Central Government services as on 01.01.2006.

POSTS TOTAL OBC GENERAL SC/ST
GROUP A 1,10,613 5,942 (5.4%) 86,132 (77.8%) 18,539 (16.8%)
GROUP B 1,35,809 5,719 (4.2%) 1,03,386 (76.08%) 26,785 (19.7%)

2. The representation of OBC in Central Government services as on 01.01.2008.

POSTS TOTAL OBC GENERAL SC/ST
GROUP A 91,881 5,031 (5.5%) 70,985 (77.2%) 18,539 (17.3%)
GROUP B 1,37,272 5,420 (3.9%) 1,03,471 (73.4%) 26,785 (22.7%)

The above statistics reveals that there has not been any improvement that in the representation of OBCs in Central Government services, despite government announcing 27% reservation.

It is a matter of regret that in 18 Ministries/Departments, that is no representation of OBCs at all in Group A services and in 9 Ministry /Department, there is no representation of OBCs in Group B services.

Article 16(4) of the Indian Constitution states "Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State".

The OBCs constitute nearly 60% of the Indian population and extended 27% reservation but they are having a share of 5% in governmental services.

In a recent letter, Chairman P L Punia of National Commision of SCs (NCSC) said, "The Commission feels the benefit of reservation in promotion should also be extended to OBCs as per Article 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution." Mandal Commission as well as Parliamentary Committee (Natchiappan Committee) in its 8th report (2005) has recommended reservation in promotion.

Suggestion:

The reference by leaders of few parties at the All party meeting convened on 21.08.2012, citing "inadequacy of OBCs in State services and reminding that in 1995, Social justice Minister Sitaram Kesri, who later became the Congress chief, had assured the parliament to this effect on the floor of the House (02.06.1995) while bringing the bill to insert Art.16 (4A), has to be seriously considered by the Government.

Including OBCs in the proposed bill or separated bill for extending reservation in promotion for OBCs is justifiable.

Representation of OBCs IS ZERO IN THE FOLLOWING MINISTRY/DEPARTMENTS

REPRESENTATION OF OBCs AS ON 1/1/2006
(as given by DoPT)
GROUP A
TOTAL OBC
1 PRESIDENT'S SECRETARIAT 22 0
2 P.M. OFFICE 24 0
3 ELECTION COMMISSION 38 0
 
MINISTRY
1 M/O STEEL 8 0
2 M/O PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS 12 0
3 M/O COAL 30 0
4 M/O EARTH SCIENCES 36 0
5 M/O SHIPPING 52 0
6 M/O SOCIAL JUSTICE & EMPOWERMENT 62 0
7 M/O RAILWAYS 7346 0
 
DEPARTMENTS
1 AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH & EDU 13 0
2 BIO-TECHNOLOGY 41 0
3 CHEMICALS & PETRO CHEMICALS 62 0
4 FERTILIZERS 28 0
5 HEAVY INDUSTRIES 32 0
6 OCEAN DEVELOPMENT 36 0
7 sCIENCE & INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH 28 0
8 DISINVESTMENT 15 0
 
GROUP B
1 PRESIDENT'S SECRETARIAT 95 0
2 VICE PRESIDENT SECRETARIAT 3 0
 
MINISTRY
1 M/O NEW AND RENEWABLE ENERGY 12 0
2 M/O RAILWAYS 7441 0
3 M/O PANCHAYAT RAJ 7 0
 
DEPARTMENTS
1 AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH & EDU 11 0
2 HEAVY INDUSTRIES 67 0
3 PUBLIC ENTERPRISES 22 0
4 SCIENCE & INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH 2 0
 
GENERAL MANAGER (SCALE VII)
1 PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS 194 0
2 STATE BANK OF INDIA & SUBSIDIARIES 140 0
3 RESERVE BANK OF INDIA – GM CADRE 228 1
4 RESERVE BANK OF INDIA – CGM CADRE 93 0

 

Thanks to G. Karunanidhy, General Secretary, ALL INDIA FEDERATION OF OTHER BACKWARD CLASSES EMPLOYEES' WELFARE ASSOCIATIONS

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