The Rajya Sabha Monday passed the constitution amendment bill to provide reservations in promotions for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs).
The Constitution (One Hundred Seventeenth Amendment) Bill, 2012 was passed with 206 members voting for the amendment and 10 voting against after a two-day debate.
The bill, a major demand of the Bahujan Samaj Party, was strongly opposed by the Samajwadi Party (SP).
Samajwadi Party member Ram Gopal Yadav said the provision of "consequential seniority" in promotions was wrong and created heartburn among people.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had suggested that the government reconsider provisions in the bill related to Article 335 which deals with efficiency in administration.
The bill delinks the term 'efficiency of administration' from the claims of the SC and the ST for jobs and promotions, mentioned in Article 335.
Introduced in the upper house Sep 4, the bill seeks to amend at least four articles of the constitution to enable the government to provide quotas in promotions for the SCs and the STs, who constitute about 25 percent of the country's 1.2 billion population.
Article 335 of the constitution states that the claims of the SC and the ST have to be balanced with maintaining efficiency in administration. The bill states the amendment will override the provision of Article 355.
It will now be introduced in the Lok Sabha.