New Delhi, Nov 5 2017 (DHNS): The Supreme Court ticked off the Karnataka government for holding up promotions of officers citing a review petition pending before it.
The fate of hundreds of state officers hangs in the balance after the apex court on February 9 quashed a state law providing for reservation in promotions for SC/ST employees.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta described the state government’s stand as "unethical".
The state government had issued a circular on March 22 directing all departments not to give effect to any promotion in view of the verdict of the apex court.
Aggrieved by the circular, a group of BBMP officers had approached the Karnataka High Court, which rejected their plea.
Setting aside the High Court’s judgement of May 5, the SC on Friday (Novembe 3) directed it to have a fresh look at the plea of the officers. State government employees led by Renukamba R and others had contended that their promotions were stalled following the apex court’s February 9 judgement. The HC had relied upon the state government’s plea that its review petition against the February judgement was pending before the apex court.
Challenging the HC’s order, petitioners’ counsel Balaji Srinivasan contended that the employees who belonged to general category were on the verge of retirement.
The employees, holding different posts such as First Division Assistants (FDA), Second Division Assistants (SDA), and Health Inspectors, also challenged validity of the government circular to put all promotions on hold.
Hearing a batch of petitions for contempt proceedings against top state officers, a separate bench had earlier on September 8 given the state government time to revise seniority list by November 30, 2017 and take further consequential action by January 15, 2018.
The court had also clarified that if any government department finalised the seniority list before such time, it can take subsequent steps ahead of the extended deadline.
The apex court had on February 9 directed revision of the seniority list of employees within three months. It also declared as unconstitutional the provisions of the ’Karnataka Determination of Seniority of the Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (To the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act, 2002’.
It had said the consequential promotions granted to serving employees, based on seniority, would be treated as ad hoc and was liable for review.