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Revisit laws on quota exceeding 50%: SC to states

The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to revisit the laws providing quota in excess of 50 per cent to reserved categories in government jobs and educational institutions.



New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the
governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to revisit the laws
providing quota in excess of 50 per cent to reserved
categories in government jobs and educational institutions.

The apex court, however, allowed the continuation of its
interim orders for one more year concerning the two states by
which it had made operational the 69 per cent quota in Tamil
Nadu and restricting Karnataka from exceeding the 50 per cent
ceiling as laid down in the Mandal Commission case.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices
K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar pronounced separate
orders by disposing of two batches of petitions and made it
clear that it was not expressing any opinion on the validity
of the laws.

The first batch of petitions had challenged the Tamil
Nadu 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, which provided 69 per cent reservations.

The second batch of petitions had challenged the
Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Other
Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational
Institutions and Appointments or Posts in the Service under
the State) Act, 1994, which provided 73 per cent reservations.

While dealing with the petitions on Tamil Nadu quota law,
the Bench said government will place all quantifiable data
available with it before the State Backward Class Commission
which will revisit the issue of reservation.

Meanwhile, the Bench said the interim orders passed by
it protecting 69 per cent quota in jobs and appointments will
continue for a year.

The court noted that certain parameters laid down by the
apex court in Mandal Commission judgement will have to be
taken into account by the Tamil Nadu Backward Class Commission
if the government wanted to exceed the 50 per cent ceiling.

In the case of Karnataka, which through an interim order,
was restrained from exceeding the 50 per cent quota, the state
was also asked to re-examine its law based on the fresh data
if it wanted to provide reservations beyond the ceiling.

While disposing of the petitions, the Bench noted that
since the matter was brought before the apex court, there had
been two amendments in the Constitution pertaining to Articles
15 and 16 providing reservations for OBCs in higher
educational institutions and quota for backward classes in
promotion respectively.

PTI

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