SALIENT FEATURES OF THE 85TH AMENDMENT ACT OF THE CONSTITUTION

The Constitution (85th Amendment) Act, which was enacted by Parliament in 2001, allows for seniority-based promotions within the government sector. The State of Himachal Pradesh issued instructions with the intention of putting the 85th Amendment to the Constitution into force. Indian Supreme Court PK Singh and 11 Others. The act was passed with the primary goal of extending the advantage of the reservation to the SC/ST in areas of promotion and seniority. The modification substituted the words “in matters of promotion to any class” for the phrases “in matters of promotion, with consequential seniority, to any class” in clause (4A) of Article 16 of the Constitution.

The fundamental goal of the 85thAmendment Act, 2001, was to extend the advantage of the reservation to SC/STs in areas of promotion and subsequent seniority. The modification substituted the words “in matters of promotion to any class” for the phrases “in matters of promotion, with consequential seniority, to any class” in clause (4A) of Article 16 of the Constitution.

The Constitution (85th Amendment) Act, 2001, modified the Constitution on 4.1.2002 to provide the benefit… The Constitution (77th Amendment) Act, 1995, and the Constitution (85th Amendment) Act, 2001, clarified 9 the stance that it would the reserve rule. As a result, in accordance with the 85thAmendment, the following has been decided… Since the 85th Amendment Act of 2001 became effective on 17.6.1995, according to a letter from the Board dated 13.1.2005, promotions have been made.

In order to provide for consequential seniority in the case of promotion by virtue of the norm of reservation, article 16(4A) of the Constitution must be amended. Additionally, the proposed constitutional amendment to article 16(4A) must take effect retroactively, beginning on June 17, 1995, the day the original article 16(4A) went into effect.

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS

Government employees from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes had been benefiting from consequential seniority when they were promoted based on the rule of reservation. The Supreme Court’s rulings in the cases of Virpal Singh Chauhan[1] and Ajit Singh[2], which prompted the issuance of the O.M. dated 30 January 1997, have adversely affected the interests of government employees who fall under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes category in the matter of seniority on promotion to the next higher grade. Significant anxiety has resulted from this, and numerous parties, including members of parliament, have expressed concern about the need to preserve the interests of government employees from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

After reviewing the situation in light of feedback from many sources, the government decided to immediately reverse the effects of the O.M. dated January 30, 1997 in order to preserve the interests of government employees who are members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The O.M. dated 30 January 1997 should not be merely withdrawn; instead, the seniority of government employees should be reviewed or revised, and they should be given any appropriate benefits. In order to provide for consequential seniority in the case of promotion by virtue of the norm of reservation, article 16(4A) of the Constitution must be amended. Additionally, the proposed constitutional amendment to article 16(4A) must take effect retroactively, beginning on June 17, 1995, the day the original article 16(4A) went into effect.

CASES WITH REFERENCE TO THE 85TH AMENDMENT ACT

  • Ram Bhog Singh Vs Rajiv Sinha & Ors.. High Court of Delhi[3]

The petitioner’s learned counsel further asserts that, as a result of the 85th Constitutional Amendment, the Government of India made provisions for the retention of consequential seniority granted to the person as a result of his promotion on the basis of reservation, effective as of June 17, 1995, in an O.M. dated January 21, 2002.  The petitioner initially joined on July 29, 1992, whereas the applicant initially joined on July 14 in the grade of JTS in IB(E)S, according to learned counsel for the applicant. Due to a vacancy in the reserved position, the petitioner later received an expedited promotion. The applicant, who belongs to the general group, would, nevertheless, acquire seniority over the petitioner, who had become older as a result of reservation, by applying the catch-up rule.

  • Aman Kumar vs State of Punjab and Ors

The petitioners’ skilled counsel made a brief argument that the Act’s Sections 4(3), 4(4), and 4(8) allow for promotion discrimination. It was further argued that, despite an enabling provision being added to the Constitution of India by the 85th Constitutional Amendment as Article 16(4-A), reservation in promotion could only be offered if there was quantifiable evidence of the classes’ backwardness and inadequacy of their representation in public appointments, keeping in mind Article 335 of the Constitution. In M. Nagaraj and others v. Union of India and others (2006) 8 Supreme Court Cases 212, the Hon’ble Supreme Court expressed this viewpoint while affirming the constitutionality of Article 16(4-A) of the Indian Constitution. The absence of quantitative data gathered by the State that could justify their decision to offer a reservation in promotion is undeniable in the current case.


[1] (1995) 6 SCC 684

[2] No. I AIR 1996 SC 1189

[3] Ram Bhog Singh Vs Rajiv Sinha & Ors. High Court of Delhi, W.P.(C) 4062/2014 & C.M. Nos. 8154/2014 & 15589/2014

Aishwarya Says:

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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