The Rajya Sabha on
Monday (December 17, 2012) passed the Constitution (One Hundred
Seventeenth Amendment) Bill, 2012. The Bill proposes to amend the
Article 16 (4A) of the Constitution of India. The existing Article
16(4A) provides for reservation in promotion to the Scheduled Castes (SCs)
and the Scheduled Tribes (STs) which are not adequately represented in
the Govt. services. The proposed amendment would amend Article 16(4A) in
such a manner that it would obviate the need of collection of
quantifiable data about adequacy of representation and backwardness of
the class for reservation in promotion to the SCs and the STs.
The Government had introduced a Constitutional Amendment Bill in the
Rajya Sabha during the last session so that the SCs and STs may continue
to get reservation in promotion as in vogue now.
As a part of the affirmative action, reservation in promotion had been
available to the SCs and STs since 1955. However, some of the decisions
of the Supreme Court cases such as in Indra Sawhney, Veer Pal Singh
Chauhan and S.Vinod Kumar cases had caused certain effects on the scheme
of reservation in promotion for SCs and STs. To overcome these effects,
four Constitutional amendments, namely, 77th,81st, 82nd and 85th
amendments were effected.
The validity of the said amendments was challenged before the Supreme
Court. The Supreme Court while deliberating on the issue of validity of
Constitutional amendments in case of M. Nagaraj Vs. UoI & Ors (vide
judgement dated 19/10/2006 ) observed 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.
Relying on the judgement of the Supreme Court in M. Nagaraj Case, the
scheme of reservation in promotion in the services of the States of
Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh were quashed by the respective High Courts
and these decisions were subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court also.
The Bill will now be taken up for consideration and passing in the Lok