Bangaluru : The Legislative Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a bill to circumvent a recent Supreme Court order striking down the consequential seniority in promotions awarded to SC/ST employees.
While the BJP and the JD(S) raised some technical points pertaining to the bill, there was no opposition per se – obviously all parties wanting to keep their Dalit vote bank happy in an election year.
Piloting the bill on behalf of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said suitable amendment has been brought to Section 5 and 9 of the Act to ensure justice is rendered to the employees.
Around 3,000 SC/ST employees working in 63 government departments will face demotions if the Supreme Court order is implemented. The State has introduced reservation in promotions for the SC/ST employees in April 1978. Around 100 supernumerary posts will be created to provide promotions to non-SC/ST employees, Jayachandra said.
Intervening in the debate, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the state government is committed to safeguard the interests of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe employees. “The government has introduced this Bill to uphold the objectives of Constitution. I want the Opposition to make their stand clear whether they support the Bill instead of trying to find faults,’’ the chief minister said.
Extending BJP support to the Bill, Leader of Opposition Jagadish Shettar has advised the government to take necessary measures to avoid legal setbacks in promoting SC/ST employees.
Wondering whether the Bill will help the SC/ST employees, JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy said that he has no opposition to the Bill tabled in the Assembly. “I want the government to ponder whether the Bill will help the SC/ST employees,’’ Kumaraswamy said.
BJP legislators Arvind Limbavali, C.T. Rai, Govind Karjola, JD(S) legislator Y.S.V. Datta, ruling Congress member Shivamurthy and other legislators have extended their support to the Bill.
After a detailed discussion on the Bill, Assembly Speaker K.B. Koliwad announced the passage of the Bill.