Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday said the government should bring an ordinance to “rectify” the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the reservation in jobs for SC-ST communities and all such issues should be included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution to insulate them from judicial review.
He said the government was also mulling filing a review against the Supreme Court decision and was taking legal opinion on it.
“The Government should bring an ordinance to “rectify” the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the reservation in jobs for SC/ST communities and all such issues should be included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution to insulate them from judicial review,” Paswan said on Friday.
The Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution minister said the government was also mulling filing a review against the Supreme Court decision and was taking legal opinion on it.
“The option of review is there, but it has to be looked at whether it will stand the test of law or not. So, in my opinion, the best and easy way to go is to issue an ordinance when Parliament is not in session and make an amendment in the Constitution,” said Paswan in an interview.
Paswan’s remarks come amidst the political upheaval that began after the apex court ruled that the states are not bound to provide reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in appointments and there is no fundamental right to claim quota in promotions.
Lok Jan Shakti Party Chief Chirag Paswan had also raised the matter in Lok Sabha and demanded that all such matters related with SC/ST be put in the Ninth Schedule.
The ordinance remains in force for six months. Once a session begins, the ordinance has to be made into law within six weeks, or else it lapses.
If the government is really deliberating over putting all the issues around SC/ST, then it can comfortably do so as the BJP-led NDA has 350 seats in the Lok Sabha while in the Rajya Sabha also it is favourably placed.
The IX Schedule of the Indian Constitution is a list of acts and laws which cannot be challenged in the court of law. In other words, any such acts mentioned in this schedule are out of the purview for the judicial review.
Some of the laws like the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act, Essential Commodities Act, and Land Acquisition Act, are part of the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution and thus cannot be challenged in any court of law, currently.
Article 31B stipulates that no legislation or provision of any law in the Ninth Schedule shall be deemed to be void, for being inconsistent with, or takes away or abridges any of the Fundamental Rights. This simply means farmers cannot challenge the laws pertaining to agriculture and landholding despite them being draconian in nature.
The aforesaid Article was introduced in the Constitution of India through the First Amendment Act 1951. The sole purpose of the Article was to protect the Zamindari Abolition Acts from the onslaught of Judicial Review by the Supreme Court and various other High Courts.
The petition quoted Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s speech in the Rajya Sabha on March 19, 1955, where he said Article 31B and Schedule IX are an ugly anomaly in the Constitution of Indi