SC Issues Notice on Petition Challenging against TN Special Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions

Anshika Tiwari-

Supreme Court has dismissed the plea filed by the Centre in which it sought a review of the Court’s May 5 decision.  On May 5th in a majority verdict, the Court held that the 102nd Constitutional Amendment had taken away the State’s power to declare any class of citizens as Socially and Educationally Backward, for grant of quota in government jobs and higher education admissions. 

In the same verdict, the court had struck down a law passed by Maharashtra Government that gave reservation to the ‘Marathas’ in jobs and educational institutions, by placing them in the SEBC category.

The Court had held that only the President was empowered to notify SEBC’S, the job of the states was limited to making recommendations.

“The states can, through their existing mechanisms, only make suggestions to the President or the Commission under Article 338B for inclusion, exclusion or modification of castes or communities, in the list to be published under Article 342A (1)”, the Court remarked.

The present writ petition was filed by the Centre in response to the Court’s interpretation of the 102nd Constitutional Amendment.

The government in its plea said that, “Article 342A does not in any manner deprive states of their power and jurisdiction and competence to identify and declare the socially and educationally backward classes, which is the correct interpretation of Article 342A of the Constitution”

The five-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan made it clear that there were no sufficient grounds to entertain this petition.

In addition, the bench, of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, S. Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat, said that the review petition raised no new grounds and that the various grounds taken in the review petition have already been dealt with by the court in the main judgment.

The 102nd Amendment had the effect of inserting Articles 338B, dealing with the National Commission for Backward Classes. It lays down its structure, powers and functions.  Consequently, a National Commission for Backward Classes is now set up and entrusted with the task.

Article 342A lays down the power of the President to notify a particular caste as SEBC and the power of Parliament to make alterations in the list. The Amendment has completely deprived the States of their power of declaring any community as OBC for purposes of the reservation.   

Related Post