Government has cleared a bill providing for reservation to SCs and STs in promotions in government jobs with effect from 1995 and it will be brought in Parliament on Wednesday.
The Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved a proposal to amend Article 16(4) of the Constitution to remove the term “inadequate representation” to justify reservation in promotion and appointments.
The legislative action, which comes within four months of Supreme Court striking down such a decision by Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh governments, meets the demand of most of the parties, barring the Samajwadi Party.
The Bill, which will be brought in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, provides for reservation with retrospective effect of 17th June 1995.
The previous Uttar Pradesh government headed by Mayawati had provided reservation benefits for SCs, STs in promotions to higher posts in government jobs.
The Allahabad High Court has struck down the government decision.
The Supreme Court on 28th April upheld the high court order and termed the state government decision as unconstitutional and done without any sufficient data. Subsequently, when the current Monsoon session of Parliament began on 8th August, several parties vociferously demanded that a bill be brought to circumvent the SC decision.
In view of these demands, the government promised on 9th August that a Bill would be brought in Parliament.
The Cabinet decision on Tuesday welcomed by BSP, which has been in the forefront in the demand, but Samajwadi Party criticised it and vowed to oppose.