New Delhi, Aug 16: The Centre has told the Supreme Court that SC/ST government employees were automatically qualified to receive quota in promotions and asked the apex court to reconsider a 12-year-old verdict on SC/ST quota in government jobs. The Centre’s contention comes after a five-bench judge was set up to examine the M Nagraj judgement on the same, reported The Times of India on Wednesday.
It added that the collection of data to determine the backwardness of the SC/ST community was not feasible as well as desirable. The Centre filed a written note in the matter and said the community was added to the list of Scheduled Castes after Parliament passed a bill knowing the kind of torture and sufferings being endured by members of the community. It said the tag of Scheduled Tribes too was given after Parliament distinguished their distinct culture accompanied by geographical isolation. Their backwardness was also determined by the fact that they were shy of contact with people and hence, had suffered for centuries.
In its statement, the Centre said, “Once a community is included as SC or ST based on backwardness, the test of ‘backwardness’ is met. Backwardness is an interplay of both socio-economic attributes. While economic backwardness may be quantifiable, it is difficult to find a proxy to determine social backwardness.”
The Centre even argued regarding the testing of the backwardness of SC/ST employees for the purpose of promotion, and said, “SCs and STs are homogeneous groups and any action to re-group them based on economic and social advancement would not be appropriate. Further, to determine the socio and economic backwardness of SCs and STs, it would not be feasible to decide about the kind of data required, the periodicity of the collection of data, sources from where such data are to be collected and the method for authentication of such data.”