New Delhi, Jul 2 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today, while hearing a petition challenging the Tamil Nadu Special Reservation of Seats Act in Educational Institutions and in appointments under the state within the Reservation for Most Backward Classes and Denotified Communities Act, 2021, issued notice to the respondents.
A Division Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat passed this order, while hearing two petitions filed by S Sandeep Kumar and J Muthukumar.
The plea said that the Act is unconstitutional and violative of Article 340 of the Constitution on the ground that reservation is permissible only to classes and not to a particular caste.
“…The Act has been rushed through, in patent violation of all legislative norms, Election Model Code of Conduct, due process of law and constitutional rights of crores of citizens in Tamil Nadu, just to win electoral gains from a particular caste,” the petition said.
It is contended that the Act was passed, when the Model Code of Conduct was in play, only to meet the demand of Vanniya Kula Kshatriyas, without the presence of any quantifiable data. Due to this, a Special Commission was appointed for collection of quantifiable data on caste, communities and tribes in Tamil Nadu with Justice A Kulasekaran (Retd) as Chairman.
It was further submitted that the Committee was yet to submit any report and in undue haste, the Respondents announced that the Vanniya Kula Kshatriyas would be given 10.5 percent reservation.
Sriram P, Advocate for the petitioner, stated that the petitioner, who is otherwise eligible to utilise 20 percent, has had her quota reduced to 10.5 percent, and the same is “not only arbitrary, illegal, discriminatory and in fragrant violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, but it has also failed to follow the procedure enunciated under the law…”
The plea stated that the Act is contrary to the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of seats in Educational Institutions and of appointments or posts in Services under the State) Act, 1993, read with Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Private Educational Institutions) Act, 2006.
The Court directed Senior Advocate S Nagamuthu, appearing for the petitioner, to approach the Madras High Court.
“Already, petitions are pending before the High Court. Please go there. Why don’t you let them decide, so that we have the benefit of judgement? If we issue notice and keep it pending, we will anyway have the verdict of the High Court by then,” the Court said.
Advocate Nagamuthu requested the Court to issue notice and tag the plea, as the same had been done in two other petitions pertaining to the matter.
Therefore the Court issued notice and tag the plea with pending matters.
The Court stated that the interpretation of 102nd Constitutional Amendment involved a substantial question of law, and proceeded to refer the issue to a larger Bench. It was submitted that the grievance in the instant plea was in pari materia with the previous order of the Supreme Court. ILNS/