SC says 2004 verdict on sub-classification of SCs/STs must be reconsidered


New Delhi, August 27

In a major verdict, the Supreme Court on Thursday dominated that its 2004 verdict holding that states should not have the ability to additional sub-classify the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for grant of quotas wanted to be revisited by a seven or extra judges bench.

The apex court docket mentioned states must be allowed to offer preferential remedy to the “poorest of the poor” amongst SCs and STs and advocated that an “authoritative pronouncement” was wanted with respect to the impact of Constitutional provisions and whether or not sub-classification is permissible solely with respect to the socially and educationally backward lessons and never with respect to SCs and STs.

The prime court docket noticed that the advantage of quota by and enormous just isn’t percolating right down to the “neediest and poorest of the poor” and it was “crystal clear” that creamy layer idea for excluding prosperous folks “can be applied to” SCs and STs.

A five-judge structure bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra mentioned the 2004 verdict of a bench of similar energy within the E V Chinnaiah case had held that states can’t give choice to sure Scheduled Castes as it will quantity to “tinkering with” the Presidential record of SCs and STs underneath the Constitution and this required to be relooked.

“Reservation was not contemplated for all the time by the framers of the Constitution. On the one hand, there is no exclusion of those who have come up, on the other hand, if sub­classification is denied, it would defeat right to equality by treating unequal as equal,” the highest court docket mentioned.

It additional mentioned, “The State cannot be deprived of the power to take care of the qualitative and quantitative difference between different classes to take ameliorative measures.”         

“We endorse the opinion of a Bench of three Judges that E V.Chinnaiah is required to be revisited by a bigger Bench; extra so, in view of additional improvement and the modification of the Constitution, which have taken place.

“We cannot revisit E V Chinnaiah being Bench of coordinate strength. We request the Hon’ble Chief Justice to place the matters before a Bench comprising 7 Judges or more as considered appropriate,” mentioned the bench which additionally included Justices Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah and Aniruddha Bose.

The prime court docket was confronted with the authorized points referred to it by a three-judge bench which was earlier listening to a batch of appeals, together with the one filed by the Punjab authorities.

The state authorities underneath Section 4(5) of the Punjab Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes (Reservation in Services) Act, 2006 had supplied that out of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes, fifty per cent of the vacancies could be supplied to ‘Balmikis’and ‘Mazhabi Sikhs’ and this was put aside by the excessive court docket by putting reliance on the 2004 verdict.

Dealing with apex court docket judgements within the Mandal and the Jarnail Singh circumstances (on quota for OBCs and exclusion of creamy layers from quota advantages in SCs and STs), it mentioned, “The ‘inadequate representation’ is the fulcrum of the provisions of Article 16(4).

“In our opinion, it would be open to the State to provide on a rational basis the preferential treatment by fixing reasonable quota out of reserved seats to ensure adequate representation in services. Reservation is a very effective tool for emancipation of the oppressed class. The benefit by and large is not percolating down to the neediest and poorest of the poor.”

Justice Mishra, within the 78-page judgement, referred to the constitutional modification made to grant quota to poor class of residents and the Jarnail Singh judgements and mentioned that it was “crystal clear” that creamy layer idea for excluding prosperous folks “can be applied to” SCs and STs.

The bench additionally referred to the completely different strata amongst SCs as effectively and mentioned that there have been stories to that impact.

“There is cry, and caste battle throughout the reserved class as good thing about reservation in companies and schooling is being loved, who’re doing higher hereditary occupation. The scavenger class given the title of ‘Balmikis’ stays roughly the place it was, and so forth, disparity inside Scheduled Caste is writ giant from varied stories.

“The sub classification was made under Section 4(5) of the Punjab Act to ensure that the benefit of the reservation percolates down to the deprived section and does not remain on paper and to provide benefit to all and give them equal treatment…”.

Referring the vexatious problem to bigger bench, the court docket mentioned that as per its opinion, it will be “permissible on rational basis to make such sub­classification to provide benefit to all to bring equality, and it would not amount to exclusion from the list as no class (caste) is deprived of reservation in totality.” — PTI



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