State Government can give reservations to SC/SC communities in promotions, M Nagraj 2006 no need to refer larger bench : Supreme Court

State Government can give reservations to SC/SC communities in promotions, M Nagraj 2006 no need to refer larger bench : Supreme Court

A Five Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has held that the 2006 Judgment in M Nagraj v. Union of India  relating to reservations for SC/ST in promotions, need not be referred to 7 judges bench .

However,  Justice Nariman clarified that there is no requirement to collect quantifiable data of backwardness of SC/STs to provide reservation in promotions.


The unanimous judgment was pronounced by Justice Rohinton Nariman on behalf of the Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and also comprising Justices Kurian JosephSanjay Kishan Kaul, and Indu Malhotra

The Court had held that while state governments can provide reservations for the benefit of SC/ST communities when it comes to promotions, if they want to give they can, state government are not bound to provide reservations for the benefit of SC/ST communities when it comes to promotions. 

In the 2006 judgment, the Supreme Court had held that it is not mandatory for the State to make reservations for SC/ST in matter of promotions. However, if the State want to  to give reservations in  matter of promotions, it is supposed to gather quantifiable data showing. 

In Nagaraj, the Supreme Court had laid down the criteria or Policy for reservations in promotions should follow:

Backwardness of the class;
Inadequacy of representation in the Service; and
Compliance with Article 335 of the Constitution of India

According to Nagaraj case: 

“It is made clear that even if the State has compelling reasons, as stated above, the State will have to see that its reservation provision does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling-limit of 50% or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely”, it was held.
Source: Livelaw, Barandbench