Reservations, quotas not a fundamental right: SC

New Delhi: In a major judgement, the Supreme Court has said that there is “no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions”, and also no court can order a state government to provide for reservation to SC/STs.

A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said, “In view of the law laid down by this Court, there is no doubt that the State Government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions. No mandamus can be issued by the Court directing the State Government to provide reservations.”

Citing the necessity of relevant data collection regarding representation of SC/STs in public jobs, the apex court emphasized this exercise is pre-requisite to begin reservation. And this data collection exercise, is not required when the state government decided not to provide reservations.

SC observed the state government has the absolute discretion to decide whether or not to provide for reservation in jobs or reservation in promotions. Also, the state government is not under any obligation to do so.