States can exceed 50% quota cap: SC
July 14th, 2010
DC Correspondent Share Buzz up!Tags: Mandal commission, quota,
reservation New Delhi/ Hyderabad, July 13: In a major judgment, the
Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed states to exceed the 50 per cent
limit for reservation it had imposed provided they had solid
scientific data to justify the increase.
Through this, the apex court has virtually given up its 17-year-old
stance on the 50 per cent cap on reservation. It was in the Mandal
Commission case judgment of 1993 that the SC fixed 50 per cent as the
limit for quota in government jobs and education institutions. On
Tuesday, the apex court revised this view of the reservation policy in
two separate orders on laws passed by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in 1993
and 1994 fixing the quota limit at 69 and 73 per cent respectively.
While disposing of petitions against the laws of the two states, a
bench comprising Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justices K.S.
Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar said these states could "revisit"
their enactments to exceed the reservation beyond 50 per cent limit
subject to the condition that they had "quantified" data to support
the increase. While TN had protected its enactment from judicial
review by placing it in Constitution's Ninth Schedule the Karnataka
law was stayed by the apex court in 1994 itself in absence of such
protection. The SC also gave one year to the governments of the two
states to collect data to justify the increase in the reservation
limit. This would mean that the Karnataka would continue with 50 per
cent quota and Tamil Nadu with 69 per cent for the time being.
Relaxing its stance, the SC said several changes had taken place after
the enactments, including amendments made in Articles 15 and 16, which
deal with the reservation, and passage of two major verdicts by it in
Nagraj and Ashok Thakur cases.
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