The Center told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it is a “fact of life” that even after 75 years, people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have not been brought to the level of merit at which the forward castes are. Attorney General KK Venugopal told a bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao, Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice BR Gavai that the attainment of higher ranks in Group A category jobs for people belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST). Tough’ and now the time has come, when the apex court should give some ‘concrete grounds’ for SC, ST and Other Backward Classes (OBC) to fill up the vacant posts.
The top court was hearing arguments on the issue related to reservation in promotion to employees belonging to SC and ST. It said the data shows the under-representation of the respective categories in Group A jobs and it is “not justified” that instead of improving it, adequate representation is being ensured in Group B and C categories. The bench said, “We are seeing that there is less representation in Group A. So, instead of improving representation in Group A, you are ensuring adequate representation in Groups B and C. This is not right. This is the logic of the government.
‘More representation in groups C and D’
The bench made the remarks after Additional Solicitor General Balbir Singh, appearing for the Centre, cited figures. During the hearing, Venugopal said that while the representation in Group A and B jobs is low, the representation in Group C and D is high. “It is a fact of life, because even after 75 years we are not able to bring SCs and STs to the same level of merit as the forward classes,” he said. Venugopal said, “It is more difficult for SCs and STs to get higher positions in Groups A and B.”
Venugopal said that the time has come when a solid basis should be given for SC, ST and OBC to fill the vacancies. The bench made it clear that it was not dealing with the issue related to Other Backward Classes (OBC) and the matter pertained to reservation for SCs and STs in promotion. The Attorney General said that according to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), there are about 5,000 cadres in the central government and 53 departments. Venugopal said that he will file an affidavit in this matter.
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