The Supreme Court of India has made a new suggested regarding the reservation system in India. In this decision, the Supreme Court is suggesting that individuals from backward castes who have already benefited from reservation policies should now vacate their reserved positions to make way for those who are considered more backward within the same caste category.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, includes Justices B R Gavai, Vikram Nath, Bela M Trivedi, Pankaj Mithal, Manoj Misra, and Satish Chandra Sharma. During a recent hearing by a 7-judge Constitution Bench regarding a revisit of the Supreme Court's 2004 ruling in E V Chinnaiah vs State of Andhra Pradesh & Others, Justice Vikram Nath, summarizing arguments made by Punjab Advocate General Gurminder Singh, questioned the idea of not allowing exclusions within Scheduled Castes (SCs).
Justice Nath pondered why certain sub-castes within SCs that have progressed should not be excluded from reservations, enabling them to compete in the general category. He suggested that once individuals from these sub-castes have benefited from reservations and progressed, they should exit the reservation system, allowing others who are still backward within the backward category to avail of reservations.
“With regard to concern expressed by my well-learned brother, Vikram Nath, if within a particular backward class, certain castes have reached that position and they are on par, then they should move out, but that’s again for Parliament… As we are deciding an important issue, just giving a thought for consideration of all. Now what happens. A person from a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe gets into IPS. So once he’s an IPS, IFS, his children don’t suffer the disadvantages that persons from the category who are residing in the villages suffer. But then, by virtue of reservation, they are also entitled to get it (reservation) the second generation and again the third generation.” he said.
The Punjab Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes (Reservation in Services) Act, 2006, is being reviewed for its validity. This law offers a 50% reservation in public jobs, with the first preference given to Valmikis and Mazhabi Sikhs within the Scheduled Castes quota.
“Even if somebody is an Inspector, his family has made it. His children will go to a good school, he will be in a city or a town or an urban estate. But for somebody who is still sitting in that part of the village from where you are not allowed to draw water from the well, he is the one who needs it. You cannot allow lumping of benefits within a certain class within a class. And if touching that class within a class is taken to be tinkering of Article 341 (as decided by Chinnaiah), that would be an erroneous legal view.” he said.
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