State order to restore cadre, pay scale to SC/ST staff challenged in Supreme Court
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State order to restore cadre, pay scale to SC/ST staff challenged in Supreme Court

March 1, 2019

New Delhi:  A plea was filed in the Supreme Court yesterday, seeking stay of the Karnataka government’s order, issued “hurriedly” a day before, restoring cadre and pay scales of thousands of SC/ST employees who were demoted in terms of the top Court’s judgement in the B.K. Pavitra case.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan and advocate Kumar Parimal, appearing for the general category of employees, mentioned the application before a Bench presided over by Justice U.U. Lalit, seeking urgent hearing.

“The State, by its order on Feb. 27, has wilfully and deliberately flouted the orders passed in contempt proceeding which is still pending. Thus, the act of the State is not only audacious violation of the undertaking given to this Court at the time of hearing of the contempt petition and writ petitions, but also contemptuous,” the counsel contended.

The Court agreed to post the application for consideration today before the Bench, also comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

Notably, the Apex Court is seized of a batch of petitions filed by general category of employees, seeking directions to the State government to comply with the Feb. 9, 2017 judgement, which had quashed the law granting reservation in promotion to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) employees.

Besides, separate writ petitions have been filed against the Karnataka government’s fresh law, passed last year, to nullify the impact of the judgement. Final arguments have been advanced before the Court on several dates. It was heard last time on Feb. 13 and has now been posted for consideration on March 13.

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The application contended, “the government order shows that defiance is apparent and the action of the State must be treated as deliberate and intentional.”

“It is relevant to point out here that the undertaking given by the Advocate General for the State to maintain status quo has been altered at the fag end of the hearing, particularly when the Act, published in Karnataka State Gazette on June 23, 2018, was never implemented,” it added.

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