Reservation in jobs not a fundamental right: Supreme Court
New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that quotas and reservations in jobs is not a fundamental right. The apex court mentioned that it will not obligate states to provide quotas and a state cannot be forced to make such provisions without data showing imbalance in representation of certain communities in public service.
In a verdict delivered on appeals on reservations for SC/ST community members in promotions to Assistant Engineer (Civil) posts in the Public Works Department of the Uttarakhand government, the court said there was no "fundamental right" that allowed for such claims.
"There is no doubt the state government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions. No mandamus can be issued by the court directing state governments to provide reservations," a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said on February 7.
The Supreme Court verdict over turned 2012 ruling by Uttarakhand High Court that ordered the state government to provide quotas to specified communities.
At that time senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Colin Gonsalves and Dushyant Dave had argued the state had a duty to help SCs/STs under Articles 16(4) and 16(4-A) of the Constitution.
On Friday the top court pointed out that while these articles give power to make reservations, it did so only "if in the opinion of the state they are not adequately represented in the services of the state".
"It is settled law the state cannot be directed to provide reservations for appointment in public posts. Similarly, state is not bound to make reservation for SCs/STs in matters of promotions," the court said.