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Protest against Supreme Court ruling on job quotas

The protesters, led by former BJP MP, Dr Udit Raj, called the apex court’s decision violation of the Constitution and said that it is a step towards scrapping reservation.

SNS | New Delhi |

Hundreds of SC/OBC/ST members under the banner of All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisation today held a protest against the recent Supreme Court ruling that states are not bound to provide reservation to SC/ST in government jobs and individuals do not have fundamental right to claim reservation in promotion.

The protesters, led by former BJP MP, Dr Udit Raj, called the apex court’s decision violation of the Constitution and said that it is a step towards scrapping reservation. The former MP also criticised the BJP-led Uttarakhand government which argued in the court that the reservation provision in article 16(4) and 16 (4A) is not a constitutional right.

“This shows the mentality of BJP and RSS. Wherever BJP is in government, their first priority is to dilute the reservation. For instance, Mohan Bhagwat (RSS chief) already said there is a need to review reservation. After the debacle in the Bihar election he retracted,” said Udit Raj.

As per Article 16 (4) and Article (4A), the Constitution of India awards state governments the power to reserve vacancies for backward sections, and even grant reservation in matters of promotion for posts under it, if the state believes, they (backward sections) are not adequately represented in services under the states. In 2012 (5 September), the then Congress-led Uttarakhand government decided to fill up all the vacant posts in public services without providing reservation to SC/ST.

Their decision was challenged in the Uttarakhand High Court, which struck it down. Recently, the apex court pronounced that states are not bound to provide reservation to SC/ST in government jobs or individuals do not have a fundamental right to claim reservation in promotion. In fact, it also said that the court cannot order the state government to provide reservation. There have been protests against the decision and the government has been accused of being against reservations. “They have introduced several methodologies like privatisation, disinvestment, outsourcing, and contractual appointments just to kill reservation,” said Dr Raj.

The former MP also questioned the judiciary and called the Collegium system in the Supreme Court unconstitutional. “Whenever an advocate is recommended for the judgeship, he doesn’t appear in the examination, nor is he interviewed. His past credentials are not checked. When these judges do not come through merit, how are they competent to judge others. The appointment of judges is done by judges and it has been completely a caste organisation. The SC/ST/OBC will never get justice in the present system of higher judiciary and hence only reservation to these communities will ensure justice. And if our demand is not met, we will launch countrywide agitation,” he added.