Supreme Court says Courts can’t direct States on fixing Quota Percentage, Quashes P&H High Court Order

Reservation Law Insider

Munmun Kaur

Published On: January 28, 2022 at 12:12 IST

Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that Constitutional Courts cannot direct the States to earmark a certain percent of Reservation to any category in admissions to Government-run institutions or jobs.

A Bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna was hearing an Appeal of the Punjab government challenging the Haryana High Court’s Verdict directing a 3% sports Quota in admissions to MBBS and BDS courses in medical and dental institutions in the State. The State originally provides for a 1% Quota.

The Bench while Quashing the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s Order, observed, “Even if under-representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in public services is brought to the notice of the court, no mandamus can be issued by the court to the state government to provide for reservation”.

Justice Shah said that in so far as the making of provisions for reservation in matters of promotion to any class/classes of a post is concerned, such a provision can be made in favour of SC/ST category employees if in the opinion of the state they are not adequately represented in services under the state.

The Apex Court also observed that Article 15(4) is the enabling provision and the state is the best judge to grant reservation to SC/ST or backward classes. Further, every state can take its own decision with regards to the reservation depending on various facts, and even if it decides not to make any provision for the reservation, the decision suffers from no infirmity.

The Apex Court also pointed out that from the Judgment and Order of the High Court directing a 3% sports Quota, it appeared to be issued after considering the Sports Policy, 2018 where 3% sportsperson Quota has been provided under Clause 8.11(v). However, Clause 10 permits/allows any other department to have a specific policy providing for Reservation for sports persons other than 3%. The Apex Court observed that a conscious policy decision had already been taken by the State government to provide for only 1% reservation/quota for sports persons in accordance with the provisions.

Also read: What is Reservation in Government Jobs?

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