Rajya Sabha Passes Constitutional Amendment Bill
The Government of India has always been concerned about the welfare of downtrodden especially Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. As a part of the affirmative action, reservation in promotion had been available to the SCs and STs since 1955. However, some decisions of the Supreme Court like in Indra Sawhney, Veer Pal Singh Chauhan and S. Vinod Kumar cases had caused certain effects on the scheme of reservation in promotion for SCs and STs. To overcome these effects, the Government had brought four Constitutional amendments, namely, 77th, 81st , 82nd and 85th amendments.
The latest of such judgments was in M. Nagaraj case in which the Supreme Court has laid down some pre-requisite conditions for providing reservation in promotion. These conditions are, namely, assessing the quantum of representation of SCs, STs, there backwardness and effect on efficiency.
In wake of the effects of the judgment of Supreme Court the Government had introduced a Constitutional Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha during the last session so that the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes may continue to get reservation in promotion as existing. There had been demand to retain Article 335. Accordingly, the Bill was amended to delete the words “ or in Article 335”, so that the condition of the efficiency as mentioned in the Article 335 should continue to be a part of the Constitution and should not be obliterated. Moreover, it ensures that the effects of proviso to article 335 are retained which permits relaxed standards for candidates belonging to the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes in case of promotion against reserved vacancies. The amended Bill has now been passed by the Rajya Sabha.
The Government is making efforts to get the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha also in this session itself.