New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel on Thursday asked government to expeditiously pass the Constitution Amendment Bill to safeguard the interest of SCs/STs in services. The report of the Committee, headed by Kirit P Solanki, observed that in general, reservation in promotion is being followed in government services. However, wherever objections were raised in the court of law, the decisions were kept pending, the report on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes said.
“In total there is ambiguity on the issue and needs to be resolved through statutory means on an urgent bases,” it said.
To provide impediment-free reservation in promotion to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and to bring certainty and clarity in the matter a step was taken with introduction of the Constitution (117th) Amendment Bill, 2012. The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha but lapsed in the Lok Sabha.
“In order to safeguard the rights of the SCs/STs in services, the Committee strongly urge the government to pass the Constitution Amendment Bill expeditiously,” said the report of 30-member panel comprising MPs from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. It also noted that the concept of creamy layer defining economic criteria for reservation is only applicable for Other Backward Class (OBC) and not for SCs/STs reservation.
The report further said that the implementation of the cadre restructuring in the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has been held up for the past several months, on account of disputes/litigations that has arisen regarding granting of reservation in promotions and stalling the promotion aspects of general candidates as well.
“The Committee feel that it is neither in the interest of the department to leave such a huge number of posts in the cadre of Assistant Commissioners vacant, nor in the interest of the officers who will superannuate without getting their due promotions, for no mistake of theirs,” it said.
The panel recommended that SC/ST officers may be given promotion without further delay as has already been done in other departments including Central Board of Direct Taxes.
“While doing so, it may be ensured that those who have been promoted earlier are not adversely affected,” it added.