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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Himachala Pradesh state amendment is with the view to provide impediment free reservation in promotion to the Scheduled-Castes and Scheduled-Tribes and to bring certainty and clarity in the matter. Furthermore, the aforesaid proposed amendment is to be introduced with retrospective effect from 17th June, 1995. = “‘Due Consideration’ is totally different from collecting quantifiable data. This exercise has to be conducted and no reservation in promotion can be made without conducting such an exercise. Therefore, the State cannot be permitted to make reservations till such exercise is carried out and clear-cut quantifiable data is collected on the lines indicated in M.Nagaraj’s case. We may also point out that other than making vague reference to “due consideration” having been done, till date the State has not produced before us any clear-cut quantifiable data which could establish the need for reservation. Merely because the amended provision of the Constitution enable the State to make reservation is no ground not to collect data. Therefore, the instructions have to be struck down as being violate of the law laid down in M. Nagaraj’s case by the Apex Court.”= We, therefore, allow this Interlocutory Application and direct the State of Himachal Pradesh to take a final decision on the issue either on the basis of the data already submitted to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on 25th April, 2011 or on the basis of the data reflecting the position as on 30th June, 2011, within a period of three months from today. Till a final decision is taken, the direction restraining the State of Himachal Pradesh from making any promotion shall continue H.P. Scheduled Tribes Employees Federation & Anr. … Appellants Versus Himachal Pradesh S.V.K.K. & Ors. …Respondents.

 published in

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                         CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                   INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATION NO.6 OF 2012


                SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C.) No. 30143 OF 2009

           H.P. Scheduled Tribes Employees
           Federation & Anr.                                …

           Himachal Pradesh S.V.K.K. & Ors.         …Respondents
                    CONTEMPT PETITION (C.) NO. 91 OF 2013

                SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C.) No. 30143 OF 2009

                               J U D G M E N T
        1.  This  Interlocutory  Application   No.6   was   filed   on
             16th  March,  2012,  by  the  appellants  herein  in  the
                           S.L.P. (Civil) No. 30143 of  2009,  seeking
           direction to the  State  of  Himachal  Pradesh  to  take  a
           decision on the issue of reservation in promotions on basis
           of data already  collected  or  submitted  to  Cabinet  Sub
           Committee on 25th April, 2011 within a period of one month.
           For the purpose of adjudicating the present I.A., it  would
           be pertinent to make a reference to facts concerning S.L.P.
           (Civil) No. 30143 of 2009 that  was  disposed  of  by  this
           Court on 26th April, 2010.

        2. SLP (Civil) No. 30143 of 2009 was  filed  against  judgment
           and order dated 18th September, 2009  passed  by  the  High
           Court of Himachal Pradesh.
By the said judgment/order,  the
           High Court allowed the CWP-T No. 2628 of 2008  and  thereby
           quashed the instructions dated 7th September,  2007  issued
           by the State of Himachal  Pradesh.  
The  said  instructions
           made  provision  for   reservation   in   promotions   with
           consequential seniority in favour of Scheduled  Castes  and
           Scheduled Tribes in all classes of posts in services  under
           the State.

        3. The aforesaid S.L.P. was disposed of on 26th April, 2010 by
           passing the following order:-
                 “The State of Himachal Pradesh has  issued  a  Circular  on
                 07.09.2007 as regards the promotion of SCs/STs in the State
                 service.   The  said  circular  was   challenged   by   the
                 respondent no.1 and the circular was quashed  by  the  High
                 Court by the impugned judgment.  
Learned counsel  appearing
                 for  the  State  submits  that  the  circular   issued   on
                 07.09.2007 has since been withdrawn as the State intends to
                 collect more  details  with  regard  to  representation  of
                 SCs/STs and to pass appropriate  orders  within  reasonable
                 time  i.e.  approximately   within   three   months   after
                 collecting   necessary details and datas.   
The  petitioner
                 would be at liberty  to  take  appropriate  steps,  if  any
                 adverse order is passed. 
This Special  Leave  Petition  and
                 the Contempt Petition are thus disposed of finally.”

        4. Although the present I.A.No.6 is filed in the  disposed  of
           SLP, it would be appropriate to notice the manner, in which
           the order dated 16th April, 2010 came to be passed.

        5.  On  27th  November,  1972,  Government  of  India   issued
           instructions vide  letter  No.  27-2/71-Estt(SCT),  whereby provision was made for providing reservation  in  promotion for the members of Scheduled Castes and  Scheduled  Tribes.
           On 24th April,  1973,  State  of  Himachal  Pradesh  issued
           instructions vide Letter No.  2-11/72-DP  (Appt.),  whereby
           reservation was provided for  promotion  of  employees.  On
           9th/13th August, 1973, State  of  Himachal  Pradesh  issued
           instructions vide Letter       No 2-11/72-DP (Apptt.),  and
           thereby, followed  the  Reservation  policy  of  the  Union
           Government  relating  to  promotion  for  the  members   of
           Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It may be  mentioned
           here that the Reservation Policy of  the  Union  Government
           was set out in Letter/Order dated  2nd  March,  1972,  24th
           March, 1972 and 11th August, 1972, 28th October 1972,  30th
           January, 1973 and 12th March, 1973.

        6. Meanwhile on 31st October, 1988, this Court in the case  of
           Karam Chand Vs. Haryana State Electricity Board &  Ors.[1],
           approved the grant of consequential seniority in promotions
           given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.  The  State
           of  Himachal   Pradesh,   by   instructions   vide   letter
           No. PER  (AP-II)  F  (1)-1/87  dated  31st  January,  1989,
           introduced Reservation Roster in  both  direct  recruitment
           and promotions.

        7. Later, a Constitution Bench of this Court in Indra  Sawhney
           & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors.[2]
held  that  reservation
           in promotion is not  permissible  under  Article  16(4)  of
           Constitution and directed to discontinue such  reservations
           after 5 years.
Thereafter, in R.K.  Sabharwal  &  Ors.  Vs.
           State of  Punjab  &  Ors.,[3]  this  court  
held  that  the
           operation of roster must stop running when  the  prescribed
           quota of posts have been occupied by the reserved category.
It was in  this  backdrop  that  the  Parliament  of  India
           enacted     Constitution  (77th
           Amendment) Act, 1995, thereby adding Article  16(4A)  which
           permits the State to  provide  reservation  in  matters  of
           promotion to Scheduled  castes  and  Scheduled  Tribes.  
In 2001, Parliament  approved  Constitution  (85th  Amendment)Act, permitting promotions with consequential seniority  to government service.

        8. On 7th September, 2007, with a view to give effect  to  the
           85th Amendment to the Constitution, the State  of  Himachal
           Pradesh issued instructions vide letter  No.  PER  (AP)-C-F
           (1)-1/2005,  and  thereby  provided   for   assignment   of
           consequential seniority to the members of Scheduled  Castes
           and Scheduled Tribes in service under the State. 
The policy
           was to take effect from 17th June, 1995. 
 The  instructions
           further provided, as under:-
                 “Thus as a result of this decision of State  Government  to
                 implement  the  aforesaid  amendment   with   effect   from
                 17.6.1995,  State   Government   employees   belonging   to
                 Scheduled  Castes  and  Scheduled  Tribes  shall  also   be
                 entitled to consequential seniority on promotion by  virtue
                 of rule of reservation.  
However,  controlling  factors  or
                 compelling reasons, namely, backwardness and inadequacy  of
                 representation  which  enable  the  State  to  provide  for
                 reservation keeping in mind  the  over  all  efficiency  of
                 State administration under Article  335  will  continue  to
                 apply   with   mandatory   compliance   of   Constitutional
                 requirement  of   Ceiling   limit   of   50%   quantitative
Moreover it is made clear that in the State of
                 Himachal Pradesh the  State  Government  has  already  made
                 provision  for   reservation   in   promotion   after   due
                 consideration prior to 19.10.2006, thus, collection of data
                 as mandated by para 124 of the judgment in  M.Nagaraj  case
                 (AIR 2007 Sc.71) is not required.”

        9. The instructions were challenged by respondent No.1  herein
           by filing Original Application No. 19 of  2008  before  the
           Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, Shimla. 
Since the
           Administrative Tribunal was thereafter abolished, the  O.A.
           was transferred to be heard and  adjudicated  by  the  High
           Court of Himachal Pradesh at Shimla and was  renumbered  as
                                  Civil Writ Petition –T No.  2628  of
By the impugned order dated 18th September, 2009, the
           High Court allowed  the  writ  petition,  and  quashed  the
           instructions dated 7th September, 2007.

       10. In its judgment, the High Court inter alia relied upon  the
           law laid down in M. Nagaraj & Ors. Vs.  Union  of  India  &
The High Court noticed that the State was bound  to
           collect data to show that the so  called  backward  classes
           are actually backward and they are inadequately represented
           in the service under the State.
It was also held  that  the
           State has to provide for reservations in such a manner that
           the efficiency of administration is not adversely affected.
The High Court then proceeded  to  determine  that
           such an exercise was undertaken by the State while  issuing
           instructions dated 7th September, 2007.  The  High
           Court came to the conclusion that the State admittedly  has
           not carried out any such exercise to collect such data. The
           reason provided by the State for not carrying out  such  an
           exercise was that since there  was  already  a  policy  for
           providing reservation in promotion in the  State  prior  to
           the judgment in Indra Sawhney’s case (supra), collection of
           data as mandated  in  M.  Nagaraj’s  case  (supra)  is  not
It was also urged on behalf of the State that the
           decision for providing reservations in promotions was taken
           after “due consideration”.
These reasons were  rejected  by
           the High Court, and it was held that:
                 “‘Due Consideration’ is totally different  from  collecting
                 quantifiable data.  This exercise has to be  conducted  and
                 no reservation in promotion can be made without  conducting
                 such an exercise.  Therefore, the State cannot be permitted
                 to make reservations till such exercise is carried out  and
                 clear-cut quantifiable  data  is  collected  on  the  lines
                 indicated in M.Nagaraj’s case.  We may also point out  that
                 other than making vague reference  to  “due  consideration”
                 having been done, till date  the  State  has  not  produced
                 before us  any  clear-cut  quantifiable  data  which  could
                 establish the need for reservation.

                 Merely because the amended provision  of  the  Constitution
                 enable the State to make reservation is no  ground  not  to
                 collect data.   Therefore,  the  instructions  have  to  be
                 struck down as being violate of the law  laid  down  in  M.
                 Nagaraj’s case by the Apex Court.”

       11. In compliance with the aforesaid directions, the  State  of
           Himachal Pradesh, vide letter No. PER  (AP)-C-F  (1)01/2009
                        dated  16th  November,  2009,  rescinded   the
           instructions dated   7th September,  2007.  In  the  letter
           (dated 16th November, 2009), the State of Himachal  Pradesh
           also directed that all the promotions made on or after  7th
           September, 2007 may be regulated  in  accordance  with  the
           procedure applicable prior to the  said  date.  The  letter
           also  made  it  clear  that  promotion  policy  has  to  be
           interpreted in the manner “as if the instructions dated 7th
           September, 2007 and  subsequent  instructions  thereof  had
           never been issued.”

       12. The judgment of the High Court dated 18th  September,  2009
           was  challenged  in  the  Civil  Appeal   @   SLP   (Civil)
           No. 30143 of 2009,  filed  by  Himachal  Pradesh  Schedules
           Tribes Employees Federation,  and  Himachal  Pradesh  SC/ST
           Government Employees Welfare Association.  This  Court,  by
           order dated 4th December, 2009 issued  notice  and  granted
           interim stay on the operation  of  the  impugned  judgment.
           Meanwhile, the State Government withdrew  the  instructions
           dated 16th November, 2009  and  issued  fresh  instructions
           vide letter dated 20th January, 2010,  which  were  further
           amended by letter dated 16th March, 2010. By the  aforesaid
           two letters, the Government Departments were refrained from
           making further promotions where consequential seniority  is

       13. By order dated 26th April, 2010, this Court disposed of the
           S.L.P. (Civil) No. 30143 of 2009 and the contempt  petition
                       No. 27 of 2010 on the undertaking given by  the
           State. In the said order, this court inter alia observed as
                 “Learned counsel appearing for the State submits  that  the
                 circular issued on 07.09.2007 has since been  withdrawn  as
                 the State intends to collect more details  with  regard  to
                 representation of SCs/STs and to  pass  appropriate  orders
                 within reasonable  time  i.e.  approximately  within  three
                 months   after    collecting    necessary    details    and
                 datas (sic).  The petitioner would be at  liberty  to  take
                 appropriate steps, if any adverse  order  is  passed.  This
                 Special Leave Petition and the Contempt Petition  are  thus
                 disposed of finally.”

       14.  This Court, by order dated 7th July, 2010, dismissed  I.A.
           No.     5     in     the     aforesaid     SLP      seeking
           modification/clarification of the aforesaid order.

       15. It appears that the State of Himachal Pradesh collected the
           necessary data as on 31st December, 2011. This  is  evident
           from the   answers   given   to   the   Assembly   Question
           Unstarred No.196, to which  the  reply  was  given  on  4th
           April, 2012.  The    question was specific in the following
                 “(a)  How much is the present SC/ST backlog in the State;
                  (b)  What steps  the  Government  is  taking  to  fill-up
                       the backlog of these categories?”

           The answer to the aforesaid question (a) and (b) was that
                 "The necessary information is at Annexure - "A"."
       16. A perusal of the  Annexure-A  shows  that  the  details  of
           backlog position of Scheduled  Castes/Scheduled  Tribes  in
           direct recruitment and promotion in  the  services  of  the
           State    and Boards/Corporations/Public Sector Undertakings
           etc. as on  31st December, 2011, is clearly indicated.

       17. It was in  this  backdrop  that  I.A.  No.  6  came  to  be
           preferred by the petitioner herein  on  16th  March,  2012,
           seeking a direction to the State to take a decision on  the
           issue of reservation on the basis of data already collected
           or submitted to Cabinet Sub Committee on 25th  April,  2011
           within a period of one month. The  petitioner  also  prayed
           for stay on all the promotions, pending the decision  taken
           in this case. This Court, by  order  dated  6th  September,
           2012, directed inter alia as under:
                 “In our opinion, in the facts and   circumstances  of  this
                 case, it is necessary for the State  of  Himachal   Pradesh
                 to take the necessary  policy  decision  on  the   question
                 of  providing  reservation  to  the  members  of  Scheduled
                 Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the matter of  promotion  in
                 the services within the State  of  Himachal Pradesh, within
                 a period eight weeks from the date  of  receipt  of  a copy
                 of this order.”

                 The State of Himachal  Pradesh  is  directed  to  place  on
                 record the  compliance  report  before  the  next  date  of

                 This direction was given upon  consideration  of  the
           submission of the State in its reply to this I.A. dated 4th
           July,   2012,   that   the   petitioners   themselves   had
           reservations with regard to  the  data  placed  before  the
           Cabinet Sub-Committee on 25th  April,  2011.   Accordingly,
           the Government decided to collect afresh data and  material
           showing position as                  on  30th  June,  2011.
           According to the  respondent  State,  the  policy  decision
           would have to relate to the data showing the position as on
           30th June, 2011, which would be available shortly.

       18. On 2nd November, 2012, an I.A. was filed by  the  State  of
           Himachal Pradesh in the Civil Appeal, seeking extension  of
           time for complying with the order of this Court until  31st
           January, 2013. By order dated 7th January, 2013, this Court
           granted extension to  the  State  of  Himachal  Pradesh  as
           sought and further directed it not to make  any  promotions
           in the meantime.  On  11th  January,  2013,  the  State  of
           Himachal Pradesh issued instructions to all the departments
           to stop granting promotions. On  31st  January,  2013,  the
           State of Himachal Pradesh in Letter  No.  PER  (AP)-C-F(1)-
           2/2011  noticed  that   since   the   Constitution   (117th
           Amendment) Bill,  2012  is  pending  consideration  in  the
           Parliament,  the   matter   regarding   implementation   of
           Constitution (85th Amendment) Act, 2001 in the state may be
           deferred.         It was also decided that the instructions
           dated 11th January, 2013 issued pursuant to  interim  order
           dated 7th January, 2013 in  I.A.  No.  6  of  2012  in  SLP
           (Civil) No. 30143 of 2009 will continue in operation in the
           meantime. On 4th February,  2013,  the  State  of  Himachal
           Pradesh sought modification of the  restriction  placed  by
           this Court by order dated 7th January,  2013,  whereby  the
           State was directed not to make any  promotions.  The  stand
           taken in the said affidavit was that since the Constitution
           (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012 is  pending  consideration  in
           the Parliament,  the  matter  regarding  implementation  of
           Constitution (85th Amendment) Act, 2001 in the state may be
           deferred.  The  State  Government  also  prayed  that   the
           existing reservation system in promotions be continued till
           the finalization of matter  relating  to  the  Constitution
               (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012.

       19. Mr. Vijay Hansaria, learned senior counsel appeared for the
           appellants. Whereas,  Dr.  Rajeev  Dhawan,  learned  senior
           counsel appeared for the respondent no.1, State of Himachal

       20. Mr.  Hansaria  submitted  that  the  State  Government  has
           already  taken  a  decision  to  provide   reservation   in
           promotion. In its order dated 31st January, 2013, the State
           Government mentions that the existing system for  providing
           reservation, prior to order dated 7th September, 2007  will
           continue. Therefore, mandamus  is  to  be  issued  not  for
           providing reservations but to direct the State to implement
           its own policy decision.

       21. Mr. Hansaria further submitted that the data  collected  by
           the State reveals that there is backlog in  the  government
           services. Further, it was submitted that data was available
           to the State Government on 31st  October,  2009,  but  this
           fact was suppressed from this Court.  It  was  also  argued
           that the defence put by the State that  they  deferred  the
           matter concerning implementation of 85th Amendment  on  the
           ground                       of  117th  Amendment  Bill  is
           without any basis since it already has the data. Thus, they
           must  take  a  decision  thereon.                   Learned
           senior counsel relied upon Salauddin Ahmed & Anr. Vs. Samta
           Andolan[5], to submit that this Court had earlier  directed
           the  State  to  comply  with  the   directions   given   in
                 M. Nagaraj (supra) and Suraj Bhan Meena (supra).

       22. Dr. Dhawan, learned senior counsel, firstly, reiterated the
           well known principles concerning the concept of reservation
           laid down by this  Court  in  the  following  cases:  Indra
           Sawhney (supra), R.K.Sabharwal (supra), Union  of  India  &
           Ors. Vs. Virpal Singh Chauhan & Ors.[6],  Ajit Singh Januja
           & Ors. Vs. State of Punjab & Ors.[7], Chander  Pal  &  Ors.
           Vs. State of Haryana[8],  Jagdish Lal & Ors. Vs.  State  of
           Haryana & Ors.[9],  Ajit Singh & Ors.  (II)  Vs.  State  of
           Punjab & Ors.[10]                       Dr.  Dhawan  relied
           upon M. Nagaraj’s case (supra),  and  submitted  that  this
           Court has laid down certain conditions which  are  required
           to  be  complied  with  by  the  State   before   providing
           Reservation under Article 16(4). The learned senior counsel
           relied on the following observations of this Court:
                 “As stated above, the boundaries of the width of the power,
                 namely, the ceiling-limit of 50% (the numerical benchmark),
                 the principle of  creamy  layer,  the  compelling  reasons,
                 namely, backwardness, inadequacy of representation and  the
                 overall administrative efficiency are  not  obliterated  by
                 the impugned amendments. At the appropriate time,  we  have
                 to consider the law as enacted by various States  providing
                 for reservation if challenged. At that time we have to  see
                 whether limitations on the exercise of power are  violated.
                 The State is free to exercise its discretion  of  providing
                 for reservation subject to limitation, namely,  that  there
                 must exist compelling reasons of  backwardness,  inadequacy
                 of representation in a class of post(s) keeping in mind the
                 overall administrative efficiency. It is  made  clear  that
                 even if the State  has  reasons  to  make  reservation,  as
                 stated above, if the impugned law violates any of the above
                 substantive limits on the width of the power the same would
                 be liable to be set aside.”

                 Further,  Dr.  Dhawan  submitted  that  this   Court,
           applying the aforesaid ratio in M.  Nagaraj’s  case(supra),
           quashed the reservation policy of the respective states  in
           Suraj Bhan Meena & Anr. Vs. State of Rajasthan  &  Ors.[11]
           and Uttar Pradesh  Power  Corporation  Limited  Vs.  Rajesh
           Kumar & Ors.[12]

       23. Dr. Dhawan further submitted that no mandamus would lie  to
           order    reservations    or     de-reservations     because
              Article 16(4), (4A)  &  (4B)  are  enabling  provisions.
           Learned senior counsel relied upon C.A. Rajendran Vs. Union
           of India (UOI) & Ors.[13] Union of India Vs. R. Rajeshwaran
           & Anr.[14] and Ajit Singh (II)’s case (supra).

       24. We have very carefully considered the submissions  made  by
           the learned counsel for the parties.

       25. Undoubtedly, in the case of C.A.  Rajendran  (supra),  this
           Court has held as follows:-
                 “Our conclusion therefore is that Article  16(4)  does  not
                 confer  any  right  on  the  petitioner  and  there  is  no
                 constitutional duty imposed on the  Government  to  make  a
                 reservation for  Scheduled  Castes  and  Scheduled  Tribes,
                 either at the initial stage of recruitment or at the  stage
                 of promotion. In other words, Article 16(4) is an  enabling
                 provision and confers a discretionary power on the State to
                 make a reservation of appointments in  favour  of  backward
                 class of citizens which, in its opinion, is not  adequately
                 represented  in  the  Services  of  the   State.   We   are
                 accordingly of the opinion that the petitioner is unable to
                 make good his submission on this aspect of the case.”

       26. Similarly, in R.Rajeshwaran (supra), this Court observed as
                 “9. In Ajit Singh (II) v. State of Punjab this  Court  held
                 that Article 16(4) of the Constitution confers a discretion
                 and does not create any constitutional duty and obligation.
                 Language of Article 15(4) is  identical  and  the  view  in
                 Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Gian  Prakash  v.
                 K.S. Jagannathan and Superintending Engineer, Public Health
                 v. Kuldeep Singh that a mandamus can be  issued  either  to
                 provide for reservation or for relaxation  is  not  correct
                 and runs  counter  to  judgments  of  earlier  Constitution
                 Benches and, therefore, these two judgments cannot be  held
                 to be laying down the correct law. In these  circumstances,
                 neither the respondent  in  the  present  case  could  have
                 sought for a  direction  nor  the  High  Court  could  have
                 granted the same.”

       27. The aforesaid dicta reiterated the earlier pronouncement of
           this Court in Ajit Singh (II)’s case (supra), wherein  this
           Court observed as follows:-
                 28. We next come to the question whether Article 16(4)  and
                 Article  16(4-A)  guaranteed  any  fundamental   right   to
                 reservation. It should be noted that  both  these  articles
                 open with a non obstante clause — “Nothing in this  Article
                 shall prevent the  State  from  making  any  provision  for
                 reservation….”  (emphasis  supplied)  There  is  a   marked
                 difference in the language employed in Article 16(1) on the
                 one hand and Article  16(4)  and  Article  16(4-A)  on  the
                 other. There is no directive or command in Article 16(4) or
                 Article 16(4-A) as in Article 16(1). On the face of it, the
                 above language in each of Articles 16(4) and 16(4-A) is  in
                 the nature of an enabling provision and it has been so held
                 in judgments rendered by Constitution Benches and in  other
                 cases right from 1963.

       28. In our  opinion,  the  reliance  placed  on  the  aforesaid
           observations by Dr. Dhwan is misplaced. Controversy  herein
           is not about  whether  the  court  can  issue  mandamus  to
           introduce the policy of reservation. The issue relates only
           to ensuring that the respondent-State  implements  its  own
The only excuse  given  by  the  State  for  not
           implementing its decision dated 31st January, 2013  is  the
           pendency  of    the  117th Amendment Bill.
As noticed earlier, the State had  admitted
           in answer to the unstarred Assembly question that necessary
           data had been collected.  Furthermore, in the  reply  dated
           4th July, 2012 to this application the State  has  admitted
           the existence of the  data  which  was  placed  before  the
           Cabinet Sub-Committee on 25th April, 2011,  which  has  the
           base as on 31st October, 2009.   The  State  also  affirmed
           that fresh data showing the position as on 30th June, 2011,
           would be available  shortly.   Therefore,  it  is  patently
           apparent that there is no impediment  in  the  way  of  the
           respondent State to take the necessary policy  decision  on
           the basis of the available  data.  
Non-compliance  of  the
           direction in M. Nagaraj was the sole reason for  which  the
           High  Court  had  quashed  the   instructions   dated   7th
           September, 2007.  With  the  collection  of  the  necessary
           data, there exists no justifiable reason not  to  take  the
           required decision.

       29. The State has very skilfully avoided a decision  on  merits
           in SLP (C) No.30143 of 2009. Thereafter, it is a series  of
           false starts to  avoid  the  implementation  of  their  own
           decision and the directions issued by this  Court.  In  our
           opinion, that this cat and mouse game has gone far  enough.
           Therefore,  we  will  not  content   ourselves   with   the
           justification that the State has to await  the  outcome  of
           the 117th Amendment. We see no relevance of  the  amendment
           to the implementation by the State of its earlier  decision
           making reservation in promotions.  It has  taken  a  policy
           decision          for           implementation           of
                 the 85th  Constitution  Amendment  Act.  Instructions
                             dated 7th September, 2007 had been issued
           for  implementation  of  the  policy  decision.  In   these
           instructions,  H.P.  Government  had   decided   to   grant
           seniority to SC/ST employees. But this circular  dated  7th
           September, 2007 was withdrawn in  compliance  of  the  High
           Court judgment by issuing Circular            No.  PER(AP)-
           CF(1)-1/2009  dated   16th   November,   2009.    But   the
           implementation of this Circular was stayed by this Court in
           SLP (C) No.30143 of 2009 on 4th December, 2009.  The  State
           then  issued  another  Circular  No.  PER(AP)-C-F(1)-1/2009
           dated 20th January, 2010 withdrawing  circular  dated  16th
           November, 2009. Thus, the situation prevalent prior to  the
           Circular dated  7th September, 2007 was again operative for
           making promotions. Thereafter another Circular  was  issued
                          on 23rd January, 2010 amending the  circular
                                   dated  16th   November,   2009   by
           substituting words “wherever reservation is available” with
           the words “wherever consequential seniority  by  virtue  of
           reservation will be applicable.” The issuance  of  so  many
           circulars is indication of the intention of the  State  not
           to comply with the earlier decision to implement the policy
           of reservation in promotions and the grant of consequential
           seniority. Therefore, a clever statement  was  made  before
           this Court on 26th April, 2010 on the basis  of  which  the
           SLP was disposed  of.  We  are  of  the  opinion  that  the
           statement was only to  avoid  a  decision  on  merits  with
           regard to the correctness of the impugned judgment  of  the
           High Court.

       30. When a statement is made before this  Court  it  is,  as  a
           matter of course, assumed that it is made sincerely and  is
           not an effort to over-reach  the  court.  Numerous  matters
           even involving momentous questions of law  are  very  often
           disposed of by this Court on the  basis  of  the  statement
           made by the learned counsel for the parties. The  statement
           is accepted as it is assumed without doubt, to  be  honest,
           sincere, truthful, solemn and in the interest  of  justice.
           The  statement  by  the  counsel  is  not  expected  to  be
           flippant, mischievous, misleading and certainly not  false.
           This confidence in statements made by the  learned  counsel
           is founded on the assumption that the counsel is aware that
           he is an officer of the Court. Here we would like to allude
           to the words of Lord Denning, in the  case  of  Rendel  vs.
           Worsley[15] about the conduct expected of an Advocate.  “As
           an advocate, he is a minister of justice equally  with  the
           Judge…………………I say “all he honourably can” because his  duty
           is not only to his client. He has a duty to the Court which
           is paramount. It is a mistake to suppose  that  he  is  the
           mouthpiece of his client to say what he wants: or his  tool
           to do what he directs. He is none of these things. He  owes
           allegiance to a higher cause. It is the cause of truth  and
           justice. He must not consciously mis-state  the  facts.  He
           must not knowingly conceal the truth. He must not  unjustly
           make a charge  of  fraud,  that  is,  without  evidence  to
           support it. He must produce all the  relevant  authorities,
           even those that are against  him.  He  must  see  that  his
           client discloses, if ordered, the relevant documents,  even
           those that are fatal to his case.  He  must  disregard  the
           most specific instructions of his client, if they conflicts
           with his duty to the  court.  The  code  which  requires  a
           Barrister to do all this is not a code of law.  It  is  the
           code of honour.” In our opinion,  the  aforesaid  dicta  of
           Lord Denning is an apt exposition of the very high standard
           of moral, ethical and professional conduct expected  to  be
           maintained by members of the legal profession.   We  expect
           no less of an Advocate/Counsel in this  country.  Here,  in
           this case,                on 26th April, 2010  a  statement
           was made on behalf of the State of  H.P.  that  “the  state
           intends  to   collect   more   details   with   regard   to
           representation of  the  SCs/STs  and  to  pass  appropriate
           orders within a reasonable time, i.e., approximately within
           three months after collecting  the  necessary  details  and
           datas.” Having very deftly avoided a decision on merits  in
           the SLP (C) No.30143 of 2009, the State has totally  failed
           to live up to the solemn statement made to this  Court.  It
           has hedged and hemmed and  prevaricated  from  26th  April,
           2010  till  date.  Inspite  of  the  requisite  data  being
           available, the policy of reservation already adopted by the
           State has not been implemented. We, therefore, do not agree
           with Dr. Dhawan that the applicants are seeking a  mandamus
           to adopt a policy in reservation. From the above narration,
           it is  evident  that  the  applicants  want  the  State  to
           implement its own decisions.

       31. The prayer is :
                 “Direct the Respondent/State Government to decide the  case
                 in  time  bound  manner  on  the  basis  of  data   already
                 available/submitted to Cabinet Sub Committee  on  25.4.2011
                 within a period of one month and ;

                 Further direct stay  on  all  promotions  pending  decision
                 taken in this Case.”

       32. The final excuse offered by the State for not granting  the
           aforesaid  relief  is  that  the  State  now   awaits   the
           finalisation  of  the  117th  Constitution  Amendment.   We
           decline to accept the reasons put forward for not honouring
           the statement solemnly made to this Court  on  26th  April,
           2010. This Court has been  more  than  considerate  to  the
           requests made by the State for extension of time. This last
           excuse about awaiting  the  finalisation  of  the  proposed
           117th Constitutional Amendment is the proverbial last straw
           on the camel’s back.  As stated earlier, the proposed 117th
           Constitutional Amendment would  not  adversely  affect  the
           merits of the clam of the petitioner for grant of promotion
           with consequential seniority.  By  the  aforesaid  proposed
           amendment, the existing Article 16 clause  (4A)  is  to  be
           substituted by the following clause 4A:-
                 “(4A) Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere  in  the
                 Constitution, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
                 notified under article 341 and article  342,  respectively,
                 shall be deemed to be backward and nothing in this  article
                 or in article 335 shall prevent the State from  making  any
                 provision for reservation in matters  of  promotions,  with
                 consequential seniority, to any class or classes  of  posts
                 in the services under the State in favour of the  Scheduled
                 Castes and the  Scheduled  Tribes  to  the  extent  of  the
                 percentage of reservation provided to the Scheduled  Castes
                 and the Scheduled Tribes in the services of the State.”

       33. A bare perusal of the aforesaid would show that the purpose
           of amendment is to remove any impediment in  the  grant  of
           consequential seniority upon  promotion  on  the  basis  of
The aforesaid conclusion is stated explicitly
           in the Statement of Objects and Reasons  for  the  proposed
                            117th   Constitutional   amendment.    For
           facility of reference, the Statement of Objects and Reasons
           is reproduced hereunder:-
                      “Statement of Objects and Reasons
                 The Scheduled Castes and the  Scheduled  Tribes  have  been
                 provided reservation in promotions  since  1955.  This  was
                 discontinued following the judgment in the  case  of  Indra
                 Sawhney Vs. Union of India, wherein it was held that it  is
                 beyond the mandate of Article 16(4) of the Constitution  of
                 India. Subsequently, the Constitution was  amended  by  the
                 Constitution (Seventy-seventh Amendment) Act,  1995  and  a
                 new clause (4A) was inserted in article 16  to  enable  the
                 Government to provide reservation in promotion in favour of
                 the   Scheduled   Castes   and   the   Scheduled    Tribes.
                 Subsequently, clause (4A) of article 16 was modified by the
                 Constitution (Eighty-fifth Amendment) Act, 2001 to  provide
                 consequential seniority to the  Scheduled  Castes  and  the
                 Scheduled Tribes candidates promoted by giving reservation.

                 The  validity  of   the   constitutional   amendments   was
                 challenged before the  Supreme  Court.  The  Supreme  Court
                 while  deliberating   on   the   issue   of   validity   of
                 Constitutional amendments in the case of M. Nagaraj Vs. UOI
                 & Ors., observed that the concerned State will have to show
                 in each case  the  existence  of  the  compelling  reasons,
                 namely,  backwardness,  inadequacy  of  representation  and
                 overall administrative efficiency before  making  provision
                 for reservation in promotion.

                 Relying on the judgment of the Supreme Court in M.  Nagaraj
                 case, the High Court of Rajasthan and  the  High  Court  of
                 Allahabad have struck down the provisions  for  reservation
                 in promotion in the services of the State of Rajasthan  and
                 the State of Uttar Pradesh, respectively. Subsequently, the
                 Supreme Court has upheld the decisions of these High Courts
                 striking down  provisions  for  reservation  in  respective

                 It has been observed that there is difficulty in collection
                 of quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class  and
                 inadequacy  of  representation  of  that  class  in  public
                 employment.  Moreover,  there   is   uncertainty   on   the
                 methodology of this exercise.

                 Thus, in the wake of the judgment of the Supreme  Court  in
                 M.  Nagaraj  case,  the  prospects  of  promotion  of   the
                 employees  belonging  to  the  Scheduled  Castes  and   the
                 Scheduled Tribes are being adversely affected.

                 Demands  for  carrying  out  further   amendment   in   the
                 Constitution were raised by various quarters. A  discussion
                 on the issue  of  reservation  in  promotion  was  held  in
                 Parliament  on  3-5-2012.  Demand  for  amendment  of   the
                 Constitution  in  order  to  provide  reservation  for  the
                 Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in promotion  has
                 been voiced by the  Members  of  Parliament.  An  All-Party
                 Meeting to discuss the issue was held on 21-08-2012.  There
                 was a general consensus  to  carry  out  amendment  in  the
                 Constitution, so as to enable the  State  to  continue  the
                 scheme of reservation in promotion for the Scheduled Castes
                 and the Scheduled Tribes as it existed since 1995.

                 In view of the  above,  the  Government  has  reviewed  the
                 position  and  has  decided  to  move  the   constitutional
                 amendment to substitute clause (4A) of article 16,  with  a
                 view to provide impediment-free reservation in promotion to
                 the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and to  bring
                 certainty and clarity in the matter.
It is  also  necessary
                 to give retrospective effect to the proposed clause (4A) of
                 article 16 with effect from the date of coming  into  force
                 of that clause as originally introduced, that is, from  the
                 17th day of June, 1995.”

       34. The aforesaid leaves no manner of doubt that the  amendment
           is with the view to provide impediment free reservation  in
           promotion to the Scheduled-Castes and Scheduled-Tribes  and
           to bring certainty and clarity in the matter.  
           the aforesaid proposed amendment is to be  introduced  with
           retrospective effect from 17th June, 1995. 
 In view of  the
           above, there can be no impediment in the way of  the  State
           Government to implement the  policy  of  reservation  which
           existed till the issuance of the various instructions prior
           to the making of the Statement before this  Court  on  26th
           April, 2010.  
It is time to put an  end  to  this  charade;
           this never ending process of extensions and hold the  State
           to honour its statements.

       35. We, therefore, allow  this  Interlocutory  Application  and
           direct the State  of  Himachal  Pradesh  to  take  a  final
           decision on the issue either  on  the  basis  of  the  data
           already submitted to  the  Cabinet  Sub-Committee  on  25th
           April, 2011 or on the basis  of  the  data  reflecting  the
           position as on 30th June, 2011, within a  period  of  three
           months from today. Till a  final  decision  is  taken,  the
           direction restraining the State of  Himachal  Pradesh  from
           making any promotion shall continue.

                                                     [Surinder Singh Nijjar]

                                                      [Pinaki Chandra Ghose]
           New Delhi;
           September 13, 2013.

[1] (1989) Supp 1 SCC 342
[2] 1992 (Supp) 3 SCC 217
[3] 1995 (2) SCC 745
[4] (2006) 8 SCC 212
[5] (2012) 10 SCC 235
[6] (1995) 6 SCC 684
[7] (1996) 2 SCC 715
[8] (1997) 10 SCC 474
[9] (1997) 6 SCC 538
[10] (1999) 7 SCC 209
[11] (2011) 1 SCC 467
[12] (2012) 7 SCC 1
[13] 1968 (1) SCR 721
[14] (2003) 9 SCC 294
[15] [1967] 1 QB 443

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