Karnataka Reservation Act, 2018

Why is it in News?

  • The SC on 10th May backed the constitutional validity of the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act, 2018.
  • The act provides for consequential seniority to individuals belonging to the SCs and STs promoted under the reservation policy of the State of Karnataka.

Relevance of the News:

The news highlights the importance that judicial review plays in ensuring the social justice in employment.

Background of the issue:

  • Karnataka had passed a similar law in 2002 which was upheld by a constitutional bench in 2006 (Nagraj Case), but the bench laid down following conditions to be fulfilled before granting reservations in promotions:
  • oThe State has to collect significant data showing backwardness of the class and shortage of representation of that class in public employment.
  • oState will have to see that its reservation provision does not violate the upper-limit of 50% or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely.
  • oState should make sure that the overall efficiency is not compromised after reservation.
  • The 2002 law was again challenged in 2011 and in 2017 the SC held it to be unconstitutional in BK Pavitra Case by saying that the law did not fulfill the conditions laid down in Nagraj Case.
  • Thereafter, the Karnataka government constituted the Ratna Prabha Committee to submit a report on the three conditions laid down in Nagraj Case i.e. backwardness and inadequacy of SCs and STs in the state services and impact on overall administrative efficiency.
  • Based on the recommendations of this committee, the state government passed the new Act in 2018 which fulfils the Nagraj Case conditions and it is this law which has been now upheld by the SC.


Source: TH