Union of India Vs Rakesh Kumar and Others

landmark judgement LAW INSIDER IN


Appellants – Union of India

Decided On: 12.07.2012

Statues Referred-

  1. The Panchayat (Extension to Schedule Areas) Act, 1996 – Section 4(g)
  2. Panchayati Raj Act, 2001 – Section 21(B), Section 40(B), Section 55(B)


  1. High court held in one of its judgement that the second proviso to Section 4(g) of the Panchayat (Extension to Schedule Areas) Act [PESA], 1996 reserving all the seats of chairpersons of Panchayats in favour of Scheduled Tribes was Unconstitutional; this was made reserved.
  2. The above mentioned, finding of the High court was challenged before the Supreme Court by Union of India.
  3. The High court did not specify the reason for striking down all these provisions by holding them to be unconstitutional.
  4. The only reason given by High Court was that cent per cent reservation of the offices of chairpersons is excessive, unreasonable and against the principle of equality.


The tribes consultative councils, that were deep seated for the Scheduled areas since the Panchayati Rule System had not been extended to them.

Contentions by Parties:

Appellant’s Arguments:

  1. There was on contention on behalf of the appellants before the High Court that the members of backward class were not entitled to get reservation in the scheduled areas.
  2. The argument advanced on behalf of appellant’s only contend to depict that the attitude of the members of the advanced sections of the society towards castes and tribes continues to be more of competition than compassion.

Respondent’s Arguments:

  1. Significant criticism of aggregate reservation amounting to 80% of the seats in panchayats located in Scheduled Areas is that it amounts to an unreasonable limitations on the rights of political participation of persons belonging to general category.
  2. Such excess policy of reservation is bound to create bad blood between the two classes and would be a serious deterrent to bring such oppressed classes into the mainstream of domestic life.
  3. The policy leads to reverse discrimination who are not eligible for such reservation benefits.
  4. No scope of rotation of seats.
  5. Lastly constitutional intention is not for 100% reservation but, only of proportionate reservation.


The Apex Court’s bench comprising of P. Sathasivam and J.M. Panchal upheld the constitutional validity of all the mentioned sections in the case under the following grounds:

  1. Schedule V creates the ‘Tribes Advisory Council’, to advice on welfare and advancements of Scheduled tribes and areas.
  2. The policy to reserve the seat of Chairperson for Schedule Tribe emerges from Bhuria Committee report on extending part IX to Scheduled Areas.
  3. The scheme and objective of Schedule V being the protection of autonomy, rights, culture and resources in Scheduled Areas is different from the provisions under Articles 15(4) and 16(4).
  4. Reserving seat of Chairperson for Schedule Tribes does not violate Article 14 of Indian Constitution.
  5. The judgement distinguished between 3 models of affirmative action:
  6. Proportionate Representation
  7. Adequate Representation
  8. Compensatory Representation
  9. The Supreme Court judgement, which laid down the upper limit of 50% in reservation, also laid down that it may exceeded in exceptional circumstances.

Rule of Law:

The provision of the law which was under scrutiny by the Hon’ble Apex Court of India was the proof as to constitutional validity to protecting interest of citizen with respect to reservation policy.


It can be concluded that Supreme Court through its judgement in this case laid down a very sound and a much needed judgement since Tribal Areas are being exploited and the judgement thus gave a breath of relief.

Related Post