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No role in Tamil Nadu govt.’s quota decisions, Centre tells SC

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

No role in Tamil Nadu govt.’s quota decisions, Centre tells SC:


Context:

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it has no role in the choices made by the Tamil Nadu government with regard to the provision of reservation for specific castes or communities in State government jobs and admissions.

What’s the issue?

The Centre was responding to a petition challenging the constitutionality of the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, SC & ST(Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act of 1993, which provides 69% reservation in the State.

  • The petitioner contended that the Tamil Nadu Legislature acted “outside its competence”.
  • TN has identified and classified socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs), that too far in excess of the 50% limit on quota laid down by a nine-judge Bench of the SC in its judgment in the Indira Sawhney case.

Centre’s stand:

  • Inclusion or exclusion of any caste/community in the State List of SEBCs is the subject matter of the State government, and the Government of India has no role in the matter.
  • It referred to the Constitution (One hundred and second Amendment) Act of 2018, which details the difference in the procedure for inclusion or exclusion of castes and communities in the State List for SEBCs and the Central List.
  • The power to identify and specify SEBCs lies with Parliament only with reference to the Central List.
  • Under the newly-inserted Article 342A of the Constitution (One hundred and second Amendment) Act of 2018, the President notifies the SEBCs in a State after consultation with the Governor.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Constitutional provisions wrt to Reservations.
  2. Overview of articles 32, 226, 14, 15 and 16.
  3. Overview of the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  4. What are writs?
  5. Difference in powers of SC and HC wrt writ jurisdictions.
  6. Indra Sawhney case verdict.
  7. Who can empower any other court to issue writs?

Mains Link:

Reservation is not a fundamental right. Discuss in the light of recent verdict of the Supreme Court.

Sources: the Hindu.