Provisions regarding reservation were challenged by several people in the various courts of law and have given various view points on it.
From M.R. Balaji to IndraSawhney the Supreme Court held that clause 16(4) was an exception to the fundamental guarantee provided to all citizens that they shall have equal opportunity in competing for governmental employment.
The court held, as Dr. Ambedkar had stated in this very context during debates of the Constituent Assembly that an exception cannot be allowed to swallow the rule.
Hence the Court stated that, reservations should not exceed 50% of the jobs being filled. Tamil Nadu crossed this margin and gave 69% reservations, which was declared unconstitutional by Madras High Court. Government went to Supreme Court but no decision was taken. Later, Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously passed a resolution requesting Central Government to intervene. Then on 13th July, 1994 all party meeting in Delhi was held and it was decided that Tamil Nadu will pass a bill for enabling such reservation and that bill will be placed in Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.
Another controversy was over the reservations in promotion. In the case of Indra Sawhney, the Supreme Court held that reservations can be given only one time and there will be no reservations in promotion. But this again was undone by Parliament by amending constitution 77th time and enacting a new clause Art. 16(4A), for giving reservation in promotions.
After this the problem arose regarding vacancies of reserved categories when carried over exceed the limit of 50%. Again the Constitution was amended 81st time and a clause (4B) was inserted in Article 16, which stated that the vacancies carried forward and vacancies afresh shall not be considered together.
In S. Vinod Kumar vs. Union of India, Supreme Court held that under the light of Article 335 efficiency of administration has to be maintained and standards could not be relaxed or waived to afford the protection of reservation. This made the Constitution to be amended 82nd time and a new proviso was inserted under Article 335 that standards can be relaxed to accommodate reservation.
Now the question came before court for consequential seniority. The rule was followed that a reserved candidate may be promoted on the basis of roster system prior to a general candidate, but as the general candidate is promoted he moves ahead of the reserved candidate who was his junior initially, but was promoted earlier than him because of reservation policy, and the status quo that existed prior to promotion of reserved candidate will be maintained in terms of seniority. This made the constitution to be amended 85th time and in clause (4A) of Article 16 terms with consequential seniority were added.
This shows that the politicians have kept the merit on a back burner and started giving priorities to the reservation on the basis of caste which is dividing the entire country and is against the very principle for what the constitutional framers had kept this principle of reservation.