Come out with fresh guidelines to remove ambiguities in implementing laws on reservation in promotions of civil servants: Karnataka HC

Updated - January 26, 2023 10:14 am IST

Published - January 23, 2023 08:18 pm IST - Bengaluru

File image.

File image. | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa  Murthy

The High Court of Karnataka has said that it would be appropriate for the State government to issue fresh and comprehensive guidelines for implementing, without any ambiguities, the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the basis of Reservation (to the posts in the civil services of the State) Act, 2017.

Stating that a Government Order (GO) issued on June 24, 2019, for implementing the 2017 Act, contains some ambiguities, the court said that it would be appropriate for the government to withdraw the GO, with a liberty to issue a fresh one to avoid any further confusion.

The fresh GO should contain comprehensive guidelines keeping in mind all the judgments of the Supreme Court, enunciating the law in particular as regards treatment of backlog vacancies in promotion, post-based reservation, addressing the issue of those from the reserved category being eligible in general merit, and such other relevant aspects, the court said.

Such a measure would go a long way in removing the avoidable ambiguities in implementation of the Act, the court pointed out.

Justice S. Sunil Dutt Yadav passed the order while rejecting petitions filed by B. Gurumurthy and other senior officers belonging to the general category, who were working in the posts of chief engineers, directors, managing directors in various power companies under the State government.

The petitioner-officers had questioned the legality of the GO and the provisional and the final seniority list of officers notified by the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (KPTCL) based on the 2017 Act and the GO.

They had contended that promotion given to some of the officers belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes by the KPTCL was contrary to the law.

However, the court rejected their contention but found it necessary to advise the government to issue a fresh guidelines.

Meanwhile, the court clarified that the observations made regarding the ambiguities in the GO should not be construed as amounting to an adjudication regarding the invalidity of the GO, as the observations are made only in the context of calling upon the State for removal of ambiguities in executive instructions to ensure that the Act 2017, validity of which has been already upheld by the apex court, is implemented in its letter and spirit without giving rise to unnecessary litigation.

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