Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has dismissed a petition by the Madras Refineries (now CPCL) SC/ST Employees Welfare Association seeking to quash an order of the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (CPCL) of January 29 and a consequent direction to the company to earmark two posts of General Manager to be filled up by promotion from among SC/ST candidates.

In his order, Justice K. Chandru said the petitioner's attempt to enforce a right which was neither a constitutional right nor supported by any law made in this regard could not be sustained. Also, as held by the Supreme Court, the court could not issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the company to fill a particular post without the Union Government or the CPCL undertaking an exercise to identify such post to be filled up by reservation in promotion.

The reliance placed by the petitioner on the judgment of the Madras High Court in All India Union Bank of India, SC/ST Employees Association's case was not apposite.

Mr. Justice Chandru said the propositions which emerged from various decisions of the Supreme Court were that Article 16 (4-A) providing for reservation in promotion was an enabling provision.

It was for the State to make appropriate rules consistent with the constitutional provision by granting due representation in various posts. If the State wanted to make a provision, it had to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class, inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment and mandatory compliance with Art.335 of the Constitution.

The court could not sit in appeal over the judgment of the State or employer and ordain that a particular post be filled by direct recruitment/promotion and no mandamus could be issued either to provide for reservation or for relaxation and the earlier judgments in this regard were not correctly decided, Mr. Justice Chandru said.

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