1. Former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra,
2. Justice Kurian Joseph,
3. Justice RF Nariman,
4. Justice SK Kaul and
5. Justice Indu Malhotra.
Whether the Nagraj Judgement needed reconsideration by a seven-judge bench?
The second issue questioned whether the States had to collect quantifiable data to prove the backwardness and inadequacy of the class while being promoted?
The third issue was whether the creamy layer among the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes should be barred from obtaining promotions through the reservation?
The court concluded that the judgment in the Nagraj case does not need to be referred to a seven-Judge bench. Along with this, the provision that the State has to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes is contrary to the nine-Judge Bench in Indra Sawhney case making this provision invalid. It was also seen in the Indra Sawhney Case that any discussion on the ‘creamy layer’ has no relevance in the context of Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes. Further, the Supreme Court confirmed the Application of creamy layer to promotions for Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes as held in the Nagraj Judgement. It hadresulted in thousands of employees being denied their due promotions. The court viewed the principle of the creamy layer as a principle of identification and not of equality. Justice Nariman clarified that in applying the creamy layer principle to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the Court does not in any manner tinker with the Presidential list under Article 341 and 342 of the Constitution. Justice Nariman wrote, the Castes and groups mentioned under Presidential Order is not altered, but those persons of the group who have come out of untouchability or backwardness by virtue of belonging to creamy layer are excluded from the benefit of reservation in promotion.
India had a disturbing history of caste and class-based discrimination. The backward classes, the Scheduled castes, and Scheduled tribes, the untouchables all were ill-treated and were denied opportunities in every field of whether it was work or education. They required reservations not as a welfare measure but as a right of representation, a right that had been denied to them for many years. The circumstances did not change by giving them reservation in government jobs and posts as they still face discrimination and could never achieve a high rank no matter what their merit was. A reservation in promotion was a major step taken by the judiciary as not everyone was in favour of this reservation. It is commendable that our government safeguards the interests of the less privileged classes and that our Judiciary is strong enough to make the right decisions after facing a lot of criticism. Even the Judiciary is not perfect but as seen through this case, it kept reviewing cases and amending laws so that the people of our country can get what they each deserve.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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