The Supreme Court's judgment overturned a 2012 ruling by the Uttarakhand High Court that directed the state to provide quotas to specified communities. (Photo Credit: ANI/Twitter)
The Supreme Court’s ruling on the reservation has sparked a massive political controversy. Several Opposition parties have demanded that the Centre must file a review petition in the case. On Saturday, the top court had ruled that an individual cannot claim reservation as a fundamental right. It added that government is not bound to provide quota in promotion for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe employees in public jobs. On Monday, the Lok Sabha witnessed protests by the Opposition parties on the issue. Replying on part of the Centre, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “the Social Welfare Minister will soon make a statement. Please wait for him to make his statement. Congress party is politicising this sensitive matter.”
Lok Janshakti Party National President Chirag Paswan has also objected to the ruling. “Recent judgment of supreme court says that states are not bound to provide quotas for SC/ST or OBC in government job and that there is no fundamental right to claim reservation in promotions. This is entirely against the concept of reservation,” he said on Twitter. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took a dig at the BJP over the issue. "Reservation is a constitutional provision. If the provisions of the Constitution are not followed, then how will this country move forward? Venerable leaders Ram Vilas Paswan-ji, Nitish Kumar-ji, Ramdas Athawale-ji... please respond to the BJP ending reservations," Tejashwi Yadav said on Twitter.
The Congress said it "respectfully" disagreed and would raise the issue "inside and outside" parliament. On Saturday, the Supreme Court ruled that no court can order a state government to provide for reservation to SC/STs. The top court ruled that state government has the power to decide whether or not to provide for reservation or reservation in promotions, and that there is no obligation on the states to mandatorily do so.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said Articles 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) of the Constitution empowered the State to make reservation in matters of appointment and promotion in favour of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes "if in its opinion, they are not adequately represented in the services".
"The State Government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions. No mandamus can be issued by the Court directing the State Government to provide reservations," the bench said.