The Supreme Court on Friday sought the response from state governments in a plea challenging the reservation acts in Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh. The petitioners alleged that the the same is against the mandate laid down in Indra Sawhney V Union of India, 1992 (Supp.) 3 SCC 217 whereby a nine-judge Constitution Bench strictly prohibited reservation beyond 50%.
A three-judge bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari heard the batch of petitions which were filed against the Centre, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu.
In the writ petition filed by Sushil Bajaj, the petitioner assailed the Constitutionality of the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016, enabling 57% (20% is reserved for Scheduled Castes, 27% + 10% for Other Backward Classes) reservations in the admissions to the educational institutions and in appointments to services under the state.
The petitioner has sought the directions to declare the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016 as unconstitutional and void as it violates doctrine of basic structure. The Court has listed this matter for January 29.
Similarly, in another petition filed by the Brajesh Satpathi and Sandeep Tiwari, the petitioners have challenged the Constitutional validity of the Chhattisgarh Lok Seva (Anusuchit Jatiyon, Anusuchit Jan Jatiyon, Aur Anya Pichhade Vargon Ke Liye Arakshan) (Sansodhan) Adhiniyam, 2011 enabling 58% reservation as unconstitutional and ultra-vires to the competence of the State Legislature. The Court has directed the state of Chhattisgarh to file reply and listed the matter for hearing on February 8.
In another writ petition which was filed by Dinesh B. who has challenged the reservation Act in Tami Nadu, the Court has sought the response of the state government. In this petition, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Tamil Nadu and sought two weeks time to file the reply. The same is listed on February 8.
In all three petitions, the common challenge was that the reservations done by state governments is against the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Indra Sawhney Vs Union of India, 1992 (Supp.) 3 SCC 217, whereby the nine-judge Constitution Bench has strictly prohibited that reservations cannot exceed 50%.