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SC/ST – relaxing standards in departmental competitive examinations and in departmental confirmation examinations. – Constitutional validity of Art. 16(4) of Indian Constitution – Validity of Office Memorandum being No. 36012/23/96-Estt.(Res) dated 22.7.1997 with drawing benefits conferred on ST/SC employees in departmental and promotional examinations against the to earlier O.M. and against to the provsio of Art. 16(4) – Apex court held that to undo the judgment in Indra Sawhney, Art.16(4) constitutional amendment was taken place and the judgement in S. Vinod Kumar is per incuriam as it has not dealt with Art.16(4) and is based on Indra Sawhney judgment and further held that Kuldeep Singh is concerned, we find that the matter was decided by this Court having regard to the constitutional provision contained in Article 16(4A). The view taken by this Court in Kuldeep Singh is in accord with constitutional scheme articulated in Article 16(4A). and further held that It is made clear that even if the State has compelling reasons, as stated above, the State will have to see that its reservation provision does not lead to excursiveness so as to breach the ceiling limit of 50% or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely -The conclusions recorded by the Constitution Bench in M. Nagaraj are also relevant and Subject to the above, we uphold the constitutional validity of theConstitution(Seventy-Seventh (Amendment) Act;1995: the Constitution (Eighty-first Amendment) Act, 2000; the Constitution (Eighty-second Amendment) Act, 2000 andthe Constitution (Eighty-fifth Amendment) Act, 2001. and further held that We are in respectful agreement with the decision in Kuldeep Singh and approve the same. Ordinarily, we would have sent the matter to the Regular Bench for disposal of the matter but having regard to the nature of controversy and the fact that the Central Administrative Tribunal, Delhi (for short “the Tribunal”) has followed S. Vinod Kumar1 which is not a good law and resultantly 1997 O.M. is also illegal, in our view, the agony of the appellants need not be prolonged as they are entitled to the reliefs. Consequently, civil appeals are allowed.= CIVIL APPEAL NOs. 6046-6047 OF 2004 | ROHTAS BHANKHAR & OTHERS |…|APPELLANT(s) | | Versus | | UNION OF INDIA AND ANOTHER |.. |RESPONDENT(s) = 2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41774

SC/ST – relaxing standards in departmental  competitive  examinations  and  in  departmental  confirmation examinations. – Constitutional validity of Art. 16(4) of Indian Constitution – Validity of Office Memorandum being No. 36012/23/96-Estt.(Res)  dated  22.7.1997 with drawing benefits conferred on ST/SC employees in departmental and promotional examinations against the to earlier O.M. and against to the provsio of Art. 16(4) – Apex court held that to undo the judgment in Indra Sawhney, Art.16(4)  constitutional amendment was taken place and the judgement in S.  Vinod Kumar is per incuriam as it has not dealt with Art.16(4)  and is based on Indra Sawhney judgment and further held that  Kuldeep  Singh is concerned, we find that the matter was decided by this Court  having  regard to the  constitutional provision contained in  Article   16(4A).   The  view

taken by this Court in Kuldeep Singh  is  in  accord  with   constitutional scheme articulated in Article 16(4A). and further held that It is made clear that even if the State has compelling reasons,  as  stated above, the State will have to see that its reservation  provision  does  not

lead to  excursiveness  so  as  to  breach  the  ceiling  limit  of  50%  or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely –The conclusions recorded by  the  Constitution   Bench   in   M. Nagaraj are  also relevant  and Subject  to  the above, we uphold the constitutional validity  of  theConstitution(Seventy-Seventh (Amendment) Act;1995: the Constitution (Eighty-first Amendment) Act, 2000; the Constitution (Eighty-second Amendment)  Act, 2000 andthe Constitution (Eighty-fifth Amendment) Act, 2001. and further held that  We are in respectful agreement  with  the  decision  in  Kuldeep Singh and approve the same.  Ordinarily, we would have sent  the  matter  to the Regular Bench for disposal of the  matter   but  having  regard  to  the nature  of  controversy  and  the  fact  that  the   Central  Administrative Tribunal, Delhi (for short “the Tribunal”) has  followed   S.  Vinod  Kumar1 which is not a good law and resultantly 1997 O.M. is also  illegal,  in  our view, the agony of the  appellants  need  not  be  prolonged  as   they  are entitled to the reliefs. Consequently, civil appeals are allowed.=

Whether the Office Memorandum being No. 36012/23/96-Estt.(Res)  dated  22.7.1997  issued by Department of Personnel which cancelled the earlier Office  Memorandum  being  O.M.  No.   8/12/69-Estt.(SCT) dt.23-12-1970  relaxing standards   in  the  case   of   Scheduled   Castes/Tribes   candidates   in departmental  competitive  examinations  and  in  departmental  confirmation examinations.- is valid ? = 

Division Bench referred the matter to three bench judges – which in turn referred to the full bench =

 Insofar   as  Kuldeep  Singh2  is

concerned, we find that the matter was decided by this Court  having  regard

to the  constitutional provision contained in  Article   16(4A).   The  view

taken by this Court in Kuldeep Singh3  is  in  accord  with   constitutional

scheme articulated in Article 16(4A).   On  the  other  hand,  in  S.  Vinod

Kumar1, the Court failed to consider Article 16(4A).  As a matter  of  fact,

Article 16(4A) was inserted in the Constitution to  undo  the   observations

in Indra Sawhney2 that  there can not be dilution of  standards  in  matters

of promotion.=

On 23.12.1970 (1970  O.M.),  the  Department  of  Personnel

issued  Office  Memorandum  being  O.M.  No.   8/12/69-Estt.(SCT)   relaxing

standards   in  the  case   of   Scheduled   Castes/Tribes   candidates   in

departmental  competitive  examinations  and  in  departmental  confirmation

examinations.  The said O.M. remained operative for  about  17  years  until

O.M. No. 36012/23/96-Estt.(Res)  dated  22.7.1997  was  issued  whereby  the

instructions  contained  in   1970  O.M.  were  withdrawn.  =

the  Central  Secretariat  Service  Section

Officers’ Grade/Stenographers’ Grade ‘B  (Limited  Departmental  Competitive

Examination) Regulations, 1964 (for short “1964 Regulations”)  were  amended

by Central Secretariat Service Section Officers’ Grade/Stenographers’  Grade

‘B (Limited Departmental  Competitive  Examination)  Amendment  Regulations,

1998 (for short “1998 Regulations”).  – suitably  –

basing on the judgment of Apex court  In S. Vinod Kumar1, this Court relying upon Indra Sawhney2  held that  provision for lower qualifying marks/standard of  evaluation  was  not

permissible under Article 16(4) of the Constitution  of  India  in  view  of

Article 335.Though Article 16(4A) had been  brought   into  Constitution  by

the Constitution (Seventy-seventh Amendment)  Act,  1995  with  effect  from

17.6.1995, 

In our view, S. Vinod Kumar1 is per incuriam.

4.          Moreover by  the  Constitution  (Eighty-second  Amendment)  Act,

2000, a proviso has been appended to Article 335 of  the  Constitution  with

effect from 8.9.2000 

The proviso reads as follow:

Provided that nothing in  this  article  shall  prevent  in  making  of  any

provision in  favour  of  the  members  of  the  Scheduled  Castes  and  the

Scheduled Tribes for relaxation in qualifying marks in  any  examination  or

lowering  the  standards  of  evaluation,  for  reservation  in  mattes   of

promotion to any class or classes of services or posts in connect  with  the

affairs of the Union or of a State.=

This proviso  was  added  following  the  benefit  of  reservation  in

promotion conferred upon SCs and  STs  alone.   This  proviso  was  inserted

keeping in mind the judgment of this Court in Vinod  Kumar  which  took  the

view that  relaxation  in  matters  of  reservation  in  promotion  was  not

permissible under Article 16(4) in view of the command contained in  Article

335.  Once a separate category is carved out of clause  (4)  of  Article  16

then that category is being given relaxation in matters  of  reservation  in

promotion.  The proviso is confined to SCs and STs alone.  The said  proviso

is compatible with the scheme of Article 16(4-A).=

The conclusions recorded by  the  Constitution   Bench   in   M.

Nagaraj4  are  also relevant and they read as under:

121.  The impugned constitutional amendments by which Articles  16(4-A)  and

16(4-B) have been inserted flow from Article 16(4).  They do not  alter  the

structure of Article 16(4).  They retain  the  controlling  factors  or  the

compelling reasons, namely, backwardness and  inadequacy  of  representation

which enables the States to provide for  reservation  keeping  in  mind  the

overall efficiency of the State  administration  under  Article  335.  These

impugned amendments  are  confined  only  to  SCs  and  STs.   They  do  not

obliterate any of the constitutional requirements, namely, ceiling limit  of

50% (quantitative limitation), the  concept  of  creamy  layer  (qualitative

exclusion), the sub-classification between OBCs on one hand and SCs and  STs

on the other hand as held  in  Indra  Sawhney,  the  concept  of  post-based

roster with inbuilt concept of replacement as held in R.K. Sabharwal.=

The State is not bound to  make  reservation  for

SCs/STs in matters of promotions.  However, if they wish to  exercise  their

discretion and make such provision, the State has  to  collect  quantifiable

data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of  representation  of

that class in public employment in addition to compliance with Article  335.

 It is made clear that even if the State has compelling reasons,  as  stated

above, the State will have to see that its reservation  provision  does  not

lead to  excursiveness  so  as  to  breach  the  ceiling  limit  of  50%  or

obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely.=

Subject  to  the above, we uphold the constitutional validity  of  the

Constitution(Seventy-Seventh (Amendment) Act;1995: the Constitution (Eighty-

first Amendment) Act, 2000; the Constitution (Eighty-second Amendment)  Act,

2000 and the Constitution (Eighty-fifth Amendment) Act, 2001.=

We are in respectful agreement  with  the  decision  in  Kuldeep

Singh3 and approve the same. Ordinarily, we would have sent  the  matter  to

the Regular Bench for disposal of the  matter   but  having  regard  to  the

nature  of  controversy  and  the  fact  that  the   Central  Administrative

Tribunal, Delhi (for short “the Tribunal”) has  followed   S.  Vinod  Kumar1

which is not a good law and resultantly 1997 O.M. is also  illegal,  in  our

view, the agony of the  appellants  need  not  be  prolonged  as   they  are

entitled to the reliefs.

11.         Consequently, civil appeals are allowed. The impugned order   is

set-aside. 1997 O.M. is declared illegal.  The respondents are  directed  to

modify the results in the Section Officers/Stenographers  (Grade  B/Grade-I)

Limited  Departmental  Competitive  Examination,  1996  by   providing   for

reservation and extend all consequential reliefs to the appellants,  if  not

granted so far.  No costs.

2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41774

CHIEF JUSTICE, JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR, J. CHELAMESWAR, A.K. SIKRI, ROHINTON FALI NARIMAN

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