The Supreme Court today conceded that there was an apparent error in a judgment pronounced a year ago by which it was held that benefits of reservation can be extended to SC/ST category employees in banks in Group-A posts which carry an ultimate salary of Rs. 5,700 per month. A bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and AK Sikri ordered deletion of those paragraphs of the judgment that had contained the mistake and said, "once we find an error apparent on the face of the record and to correct the said error, we have to necessarily allow these review petitions."
Allowing a batch of review petitions filed by various banks including chairman and managing director Central Bank of India, the bench found force in the argument of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.
Agreeing with his view, the court said "it is this error, which is apparent on the face of the record, viz the reservation is provided in promotion by selection respect of posts carrying salary of less than Rs. 5,700 per month, that has led to further error that such reservation in the matter of promotion is applicable from Scale I upward up to Scale VI."
Justice Rohatgi had said that a fundamental error had crept in the judgment in which it was observed that reservation is provided to employees of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe. However, the operative portion of the verdict was contrary as it had held that there was no reservation in this category.
The Attorney General said that the SC/ST employees of the particular class can get reservation in promotion, though in the previous paragraph of the judgement, the court had reiterated that "there is no reservation in promotion by selection in Group-A posts which carry an ultimate salary of Rs. 5,700 per month and in such cases it is only the concession that applies."
The top court had on January 9 last year ruled that the Constitution enabled government to provide for reservation of SC/ST category employees even in promotions but courts cannot direct them to make such a provision.