Monday, February 6, 2023

Supreme Court grants 2 weeks time to TN govt in case against its quota law

The petitioner has said that the report prepared by Janarthanam Commission in the year 2011 affects fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, 15 & 16 of the Constitution to the General Category students to the admissions and candidates to the recruitments.

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted two weeks time to the Tamil Nadu Government to file a reply to a plea challenging the constitutional validity of Tamil Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and appointments or posts in the Service under the State) Act, 1993.

The petitioner submitted that in 2011, the Janarthanam Commission prepared a report whereby it upheld reservation of 69% in the State of Tamil Nadu without there being any exceptional and extraordinary circumstances for exceeding 50% reservation as held in the Indra Sawhney case i.e. to bring a population of the far-flung and remote area into the mainstream. This, the petitioner has said, affects fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution to the General Category students to the admissions and candidates to recruitment.

The petitioner further pointed out that on 11.08.2018, the Constitution 102nd Amendment Act, 2018 came into force, whereby Article 338 (B), 342 (A) and Article 366 (26C) was inserted in the constitution.

Under Article 338 (B) National Commission for backward classes was constituted. Article 342 (A) provides that the president may with respect to any State or Union territory after consultation 31 32 33 34 6 with the Governor, notify socially and Educationally Backward Classes in relation to that State or union territory.

Thereafter the Maharashtra Government passed such (SEBC) Act in 2018, whereby 16% reservation is provided to Maratha Community in Admissions to the educational institutions and in appointments to the public services under the State. After this Act, reservation in the State of Maharashtra now stands at 68%.

The Apex Court on 09.09.2020 in Civil Appeal No. 3123 of 2020 stayed the implementation of SEBC Act, 2018 to the admissions to educational institutions for academic year 2020-21 as well as appointments to public services and posts under the Government.

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Moreover vide order dated 09.12.2020, Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court fixed Maharashtra Government’s SEBC Act case for hearing on 25.01.2021. The petitioner has submitted that since the issue involved in the present Writ Petition is similar to the issue involved in the Maharashtra case, the present petition be tagged with the said matter.

The bench today listed the matter for next hearing in the last week of February.

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