Days ahead of the state budget, the Karnataka government in a cabinet decision on Wednesday okayed the provision of reservations in promotions for SC/ST government employees as per the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority Act. The law was due to be implemented even though the bill did not get the assent of the President in June 2018, since the Supreme Court is hearing the matter.
This after CM HD Kumaraswamy on January 10 had said that the state government will follow a “middle path” on the issue without mentioning any specifics.
“Since there’s a clear (legal) opinion that implementing the law will not amount to contempt of court, the law will come into immediate effect. But this will be subject to the final outcome of the cases before the Supreme Court,” the Deccan Herald quoted Karnataka Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Krishna Byre Gowda. as saying. The government may have to scrap the law based on the Supreme Court’s final verdict on the issue.
The minister said that cabinet’s decision was based on the advice of former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi.
“The cabinet has decided to go ahead and implement the reservation bill with immediate effect as the legal opinion by senior lawyer who is appearing on behalf of the government, Mukul Rohatgi, has clearly said the government has no choice but to implement the decision of the legislature which passed the act protecting the government employees promotion based on reservation,” the minister was quoted by The Times of India .
He added, “While the act will come into effect immediately, the chief secretary has been asked to redraw the seniority list to once again promote the employees based on reservation. The revised seniority list is mandated on account of a few officials having retired.”
Byre Gowda further said that CM HD Kumaraswamy has further asked the Chief Secretary to make sure that interests of those affected due to the implementation of this law is taken care of.
However, there is no clarity if those demoted due to the new law will be given same salaries or similar positions will be created.