Reservation in promotions unsustainable, CAT to Railways
Directs it to redraw seniority list in 90 days from date of receipt of order

The Central Administration Tribunal (CAT) has asked the ministry of railways to redraw its seniority list, ensuring that promotions are not given to the staff on the basis of reservation. 

The principal bench of tribunal has also directed the public sector transporter to complete the task within 90 days from the date of receipt of the order.

In a common order pronounced last month, the CAT has said that the seniority list has to be prepared following the Supreme Court decision in M Nagaraj case.

“This exercise shall be completed within 90 days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order,” the CAT ruled. The tribunal dealing with service matters of government employees took noted the Supreme Court observation in M Nagaraj case, which says that unless the mandatory exercise of collecting quantifiable data to show backwardness of a certain class is established, no authority or government can follow the rule of reservation in promotions.

“Since admittedly in railways or in any other respondent department, no such exercise is conducted, their action in following the rule of reservation in promotions is unsustainable,” the CAT said.

One of the applicants in the case said that the CAT order was historic.

Following this order, those who got early promotions due to the benefit of SC/ST reservations, have to be reverted back within a period of 90 days.

It is now well established that reservation is available for getting government jobs at the time of initial selection only, and not during the service. Once a person joins the service availing the quota, he or she would be treated equally with other employees.

The issue of reservation in promotion has been contentious one with general category employees opposing it. They have held that promotions should be given only on the basis of experience and service records.