Provisions Involved

Reservation Act, 2018, Article 200 & 201 of the Constitution


Karnataka introduced reservations in promotions for the SC and CT communities in 1978. This step of the state led to amendments in the Constitution as well as many rounds of litigation in the Supreme Court. In 2017, the Supreme Court held that the Karnataka Act, 2002, which provided consequential seniority to the people promoted to reserved jobs, was unconstitutional as the State failed to present any evidence which justified the consequential seniority. 

After this judgment, a new law was passed by Karnataka in 2017, which provided reservations in promotions and the consequential seniority, which was further challenged in this case.


  • Whether the new Act is a legislative overruling of the Pavitra-I?
  • Whether the new Act follows the judgments as laid by Nagaraj and Jarnail Singh case?
  • Whether the failure to incorporate a qualitative exclusion result was in the breach of Article 14 and 16?


The Supreme Court observed that the Reservation Act 2018 is not a legislative overruling of the Pavitra-I. It was stated by the bench that this Act changed the basis of the Pavitra-I by providing data.The bench also analysed the data, which was provided by the state representing the administrative efficiency and the backwardness. The court also observed that the need for reservation lies inside the territory of the legislature and executive. It was held that the consequential seniority is an outcome of the reservation in promotion. Hence, it was observed by the bench that the creamy layer test could not be applied for the consequential seniority.


The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the new Reservation Act, 2018 on 10 May 2019 as it introduced the consequential seniority for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Karnataka Public employment.