Ajit Singh Januja v. State of Punjab AIR 1996 SC 1189

The case arises on the question of whether a person belonging to scheduled caste or backward caste (SC or BC) can claim a seniority in promotion in general category in the higher grade when he reached the higher grade by virtue of reservation in the lower grade (roster system).

Held: The members of the SC or BC class who have been appointed or promoted on the basis of reservation and system of roster cannot claim promotion against general category posts in the higher grade ,on the their seniority being achieved in the lower grade because of accelerated promotion .The equality principle requires exclusion of the factor of extra weightage of earlier promotion to a reserved category candidate because of reservation alone,when he competes for further promotion to a general category with a general category candidate ,senior to him in the panel.

Art 16(4) reservation gives accelerated promotion but not accelerated consequential seniority .

The policy of reservation cannot be implemented in a manner to block the merit channel and to make it dry and care has to be taken that efficiency of the administration is not harmed and there is no reverse discrimination.

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