Seventy-five years of Independence have not been able to bring members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on a par with the forward classes of society, the Government said in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Appearing before a Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal said it was tough for a member of the SC/ST to reach the ‘Group A’ category jobs. Mr. Venugopal said the time had come for the top court to firm up and draw the basis for reservation in promotions for SC/ST candidates to fill up vacancies in top jobs.
The Bench referred to records filed before it to note that there was low representation of SC/ST category in Group A jobs. Instead of improving the situation in the Group A ranks, the court said, efforts are on to ensure adequate representation in Groups B and C. This was not fair, it remarked.
“We are finding that in Group A, the representation is low. Therefore, by accommodating, instead of improving the representation in Group A, you are ensuring that there is adequate representation in Group B and C. This is not fair. This is the argument of the government,” the Bench, including Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B.R. Gavai, observed.
Mr. Venugopal agreed that it was a “fact of life”.
“We are not being able, after 75 years, to bring the SCs and STs to the same level of merit as the forward classes... It is more difficult for the SCs and STs to get the higher post, which is in A and B,” he submitted.
“Time has come for your lordships to give concrete basis for the SC, ST and OBC to fill up vacancies,” the law officer said.