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Timeline of Reservation in promotion (Article16)

Courtesy/By: Sarah Wilson | 2021-11-03 11:36     Views : 145

Reservation in promotion for SC/S candidates has been a significant conversation in the past decade. Article 16(1) state's "there shall be equality for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the state". Article 16(2) gives the grounds that citizens should not discriminate, specifically, religion, caste, sex, race, descent, birthplace, residence, or any of them. However, an exception to Art 16(1) and Art 16(2) is Article 16(4) which provides for backward classes reservation, those who aren't adequately represented. The aim of this article is the upliftment of the weaker sections of our society.

When it comes to reservation specifically, the famously known judgment, Indira Sawhney v. UOI, also known as the Mandal Commission case, which did not grant reservation in the promotion of SC/ST candidates. it stated that the scope of Article 16(4) only includes appointment. In the 77th constitutional amendment, the government nullifies this judgment, stating that the state is allowed to have a reservation in terms of promotion, as long as it is reasonable. 

In Virpal Singh v. UOI, catch rule was introduced, where it held that senior general candidate, who was promoted after SC/ST counterparts, would regain their seniority over the general candidates.

Through the 81st constitutional amendment, Article 16(4B) was introduced, which is the carry-forward rule, in which the breach of the 50% cap is allowed with unfilled vacancies from the previous year. Through the 82nd constitutional amendment, the government added Article 335, which states nothing in this article shall prevent the state from relaxing qualifying marks for SC/ST candidates, and through the 85th amendment, they inserted the principle of consequential seniority. 

In the case of Nagaraj v. UOI, they challenged the 77th, 81st, 82nd, and 85th constitutional amendment, where the court upheld them and gave 3 requirements for promotion in reservation specifically.

  • demonstrate backwardness of SC/ST
  • prove that SC/ST is inadequately represented
  • maintain overall administrative efficiency

Subsequently, in the case of Jarnail Singh v. Lachman Singh, the court held that the state cannot grant reservations in the promotion of SC/ST candidates if they belong to the creamy layer of their community.

What we can understand from the timeline of how reservation in terms of promotion for SC/ST candidates is that to give an equal footing for all communities and candidates, the reservation should be balancing merit and adequate representation. Article 16, which provides an equal opportunity for all citizens in matters of public employment, should be judiciously administered for the effective development of our country as a whole. 


This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, Or Religion Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being. 

Courtesy/By: Sarah Wilson | 2021-11-03 11:36

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