Revisiting Nagraj Judgment Day #1: AG Venugopal Argues that Conditions in Nagraj are Unattainable

Reservation in Promotion

August 3rd, 2018 

The five judge bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra began hearing the case.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Union, pressed for reconsidering the Supreme Court judgment in Nagaraj which imposed restrictions on reservation in promotions for SC/ST employees.

Nagaraj imposed additional criteria for granting reservation: quantifiable data to demonstrate SC/ST as backward; establish inadequacy of representation in jobs. Mr. Venugopal argued that these criteria are unwarranted – they create hurdles in realising the constitutional mandate of providing reservation in promotion to SC/STs. Additionally, Mr. Venugopal referred to Indra Sawhney  to submit that SC/STs are presumed to be backward. Thus there is no need to prove the other conditions.

Mr. Venugopal submitted that reservation for SC/STs will be illusory if it is not extended to promotions. He concluded by stating that it is almost impossible to meet the onerous conditions as laid down in Nagaraj.

The bench observed that it will not hear the different States at the moment. If a larger bench is not constituted to review Nagaraj, a separate two or three judge bench will be set up to hear the States.

Mr. Rajeev Dhavan also made his submissions before the bench.

The matter has been posted for hearing on 16th August.