The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday upheld the constitutional validity of the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act, 2018.
The Karnataka law grants reservation to non-IAS cadre government employees who belong to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) communities.
The issue dates back to 2002 when the Karnataka government had enacted a similar law that was later upheld by a constitutional bench in 2006.
However, it was challenged in 2011 and in 2017 the apex court had said it was necessary for the government to provide material that there was "compelling necessity" for exercise of such powers that eventually resulted in 3,799 SC/ST employees, promoted earlier, to be demoted.
The state government had constituted a committee under then chief secretary K.Ratna Prabha to study the backwardness of these communities. The Karnataka government took the ordinance route in August 2017 to circumvent an apex order in February earlier that year that struck down reservations on promotions to SCs/STs by the Karnataka government and had also set a deadline of three months to reverse the promotions.
Priyank Kharge, Karnataka’s social welfare minister, said there could be an overall impact on around 60,000 non-IAS cadre employees working in various departments of the state government.
“I welcome the decision of the Supreme Court for upholding our govt's act, when I was @CMofKarnataka, on providing quota for SC/ST promotions for government employees.