Karnataka Govt Circumvents SC Order, Implements Law to Protect Reservation in Promotion
With this major decision, the coalition government in Karnataka circumvented the apex court’s February 9, 2017, order striking down consequential seniority in promotions given to the reserved category employees.
File photo of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.
Bengaluru: The Karnataka cabinet on Wednesday cleared a bill to implement a law that seeks to protect reservation in promotions to employees who fall under the SC/ST category, even though the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.
With this major decision, the coalition government in Karnataka circumvented the apex court’s February 9, 2017, order striking down consequential seniority in promotions given to the reserved category employees. The state government had filed a review petition challenging the court’s order which, however, was dismissed.
The contentious Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation Bill, 2017, was introduced by the then Congress government in November that year to challenge the Supreme Court order to protect the promotions of this kind.
Governor Vajubhai Vala then referred it to the President. The Bill received the President’s assent on June 2018.
Thousands of government employees have received promotions by way of reservations since 1978 in the state of Karnataka.
While briefing the media, law minister Krishna Byre Gowda said, "Since the President has given his assent to the bill, we need to go ahead with it. The cabinet has given its approval, but this is subject to the Supreme Court’s final decision."
The minister also said that the government would prepare a new seniority list which would lead to the delay in implementation, as many from the previous list had already retired. "Pensions will also be resolved as today’s decision will address the withholding of pension benefits," he added.
After the Supreme Court order, thousands of government employees belonging to the SC/ST category were demoted, while many from the general category were promoted, resulting in a huge uproar in the state.
Recently, members of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti and Republic party of India had protested in front of chief minister Kumaraswamy during the co-ordination committee meeting by calling his government anti-Dalit for not implementing the bill.
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