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Supreme Court refuses to lay down yardstick for representation for quota in promotion to SC/STs

The court said that states were required to collect quantifiable data on representation of the communities in government jobs.

The Supreme Court on Friday held that it cannot lay down any yardstick for determining the adequacy of the representation of members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities while giving them reservation in promotions in government jobs, reported Bar and Bench.

“State is obligated to collect quantifiable data regarding SC/ST representation [in jobs],” the court said. “We have left it to state to assess yardstick to determine inadequacy of representation of SC/ST.”

A three-judge bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao pronounced the verdict on a batch of petitions that were filed challenging reservation-related judgements from 11 different High Courts.

The court was dealing with several questions, including whether a yardstick should be appointed to ascertain the quantifiable data for adequate representation of the two communities, Live Law reported. Questions like whether cadre or the entire service should be considered as a unit for collecting data for reservation and how the “efficiency” of the administration would be determined were also being heard.

The court had reserved its verdict on October 26.

In its verdict on Friday, the court held that cadre should be considered as a unit for collecting data for reservations. It said that the collection of data cannot be with respect to the entire group or service but should be related to the grade or category of the post for which promotion is being sought.