Disability reservation in promotion reaffirmed by SC

The Supreme Court yesterday reaffirmed it’s 2016 judgment in the case of Rajeev Kumar Gupta vs. Govt. of India, holding that reservation in promotion must be provided to public sector employees with disabilities. The Government had approached the Court again for clarifications to limit the effect of the 2016 judgment. However, the Court accepted the submissions of the Disability Law Initiative and others representing persons with disabilities, that there was no ambiguity in the 2016 judgment and the same ought to be implemented in letter and spirit. The Court directed the Government of India to issue fresh instructions on implementing reservation in promotion within a period of four months.

The earlier judgment in Rajeev Kumar Gupta’s case, argued by the Disability Law Initiative, had granted reservation in promotion to persons with disabilities employed in Groups A and B in addition to Groups C and D, holding that wherever posts are identified to be suitable for persons with disabilities, reservation must be given in direct recruitment as well as in promotion. The Government of India had however challenged the earlier judgement and the same was referred to a three-judge bench of the Court, in the case of Siddaraju vs.  State of Karnataka. On 14th January 2020, the three-judge bench, led by Justice Rohinton Nariman, upheld the reasoning in the Rajeev Kumar Gupta case.

Despite that, the Government again filed an application for clarification on the issue in the Supreme Court, seeking to limit the applicability of the judgment in the Rajeev Kumar Gupta case. On 28th September 2021, another three-judge bench of the Court led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao said that they saw no ambiguity in the earlier judgments, and that no further clarification was necessary.