New Delhi: In a major relief to the Centre, the Supreme Court today allowed it to go ahead with reservation in promotion for employees belonging to the SC and ST category in accordance with law.

The top court took into account the Centre's submissions that entire process of promotion has come to a standstill due to the orders passed by various high courts and the apex court had also ordered for status quo in a similar matter in 2015. A vacation bench of justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ashok Bhushan said that the Centre is not debarred from making promotions in accordance with the law in the matter.

The government said, there were separate verdicts by the high courts of Delhi, Bombay and Punjab and Haryana on the issue of reservation in promotion to SC/ST employees and the apex court had also passed different orders on appeals filed against those judgments.

The Delhi High Court, in its August 23, 2017 verdict, had set aside an August 1997 office memorandum issued by the Department of Personnel and Training on the issue of reservation in promotion to the employees belonging to SC/ST. The high court had also restrained the Centre from granting reservation in promotion without first collecting the data on inadequate representation.

Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party President Ram Vilas Paswan welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on reservation in promotion today, saying it will re-open the doors to the members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities for promotion in government jobs.

The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution also expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for pursuing the matter so that the court was approached during the summer vacation and the case was put up before it by the additional solicitor general.