Case Summary

Mukesh Kumar v. the State of Uttarakhand, (AIR 2020 SC 148)

Right of Promotion is contingent upon the discretion of the authorities.


The judgment is that the latest addition within the reservation series. There has been a persistent struggle between the court and the government for reservation in promotions.

The Indira Sawhney judgment of 1992 allowable reservation for the SCs and STs within the promotion to continue just for five years. The government underneath Congress brought the 77th Constitutional modification Act in 1995 to keep the reservation in promotions.

Article 16(4A) could be a special provision for reservation for promotion solely to SCs and STs, which amended many times to push exaggerated reservations by states.

  • 81st modification – to allow the government to treat the backlog of reserved vacancies as a separate and distinct cluster, to that the ceiling of 50 p.c didn’t apply.
  • 82nd modification – inserted a provision in Article 335 to change states to grant concessions to SC/ST candidates in the promotion.
  • 85th modification – to grant the good thing about of import seniority to SC/ST candidates promoted by reservation.

The constitutionality of those amendments was challenged in M. Nagaraj & Others vs. Union of India & Others on the bottom of alteration of the essential Structure of the Constitution. In 2006, the Supreme Court upheld the amendments.

The present judgment created a settled law that the authorities can’t be directed to supply reservations for appointment publicly posts, and isn’t absolute to create reservations for SCs and STs in promotions. Thus, a person cannot claim reservation, as his elementary right. It’s the authorities’ discretion to make your mind up whether or not reservations square measure needed in appointments and promotions. The judgment created reservations nonmandatorily. Suppose authorities need to form provisions for the reservation to SC/STs in the promotion. In that case, the state must collect quantitative knowledge showing retardation of category and inadequacy of illustration of that class. Variety of High Courts, following Nagaraj, have smitten down reservations in promotions once applying these necessities.

The involved state can get to show, in every case, the existence of compelling reasons – that embody retardation, the inadequacy of illustration, and overall body potency before creating provisions for reservation. The court any control that these provisions square measure just facultative provisions.  

This can be viewed as a possibility from the understanding of job reservation. The Supreme Court’s earlier ruling setting the quota cap at 500 of the overall vacancies was understood as a required rule for the govt to form reservations in all-new appointments for SC / ST and OBC candidates.

But Supreme Court understood Article 16 to grant discretionary powers to the authorities to see if quotas square measure needed in appointment and promotion in government positions. Since, Constitution empowers the state to supply for the reservation of seats in favour of SC / ST candidates within the higher than matters, if within the opinion of the state, they’re inadequately delineated within the state public services.

  • Decision

The decision of the authorities to supply SC/ST reservation in promotion to a specific public post if challenged shall be amenable to review. It would get to place the information and prove before the court that reservation was necessary and doesn’t have an effect on the potency of administration.

  • SC and ST reservations
  • Employment Promotions
  • Article 16

The Supreme Court dominated that the state governments aren’t absolute to fill vacancies following the principles of reservation for the SCs, STs, and OBCs. The court gave a choice over a bunch of appeals by Mukesh Kumar relating SC and ST reservation in promotions within the posts of Assistant Engineer (Civil) in PWD, Uttarakhand Govt. The Supreme Court refused to issue a direction to the Uttarakhand authorities to supply reservation to those candidates for filling vacancies. Since the provision of the reservation is contingent upon the discretion. Hence, the court didn’t issue the legal instrument of the judicial writ to issue directions.

Submitted By: Isha Baloni

Categories:Case Summary

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