SC to decide on migrant Dalits right to reservation
PTI, Oct 7, 2010, 07.08pm IST
NEW DELHI: The supreme court on Thursday referred to a "Bench of
appropriate strength" for deciding whether a Scheduled Caste candidate
in a particular state is entitled to the benefits of quota in
employment in another state.
A Bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar passed the order
while dealing with Uttarakhand government's appeal challenging a
ruling of the High Court that if a SC candidate migrates to another
state he or she would be entitled to the benefits of reservation.
The state took the stance that an SC migrating from one state to
another would not be entitled to the benefit unless the community to
which the candidate belonged was also listed under the category of
Scheduled Castes in the migrating State.
The high court had earlier directed the state to reinstate certain SC
candidates from UP, Bihar, Tripura as Assistant Professors in the G B
Pant University of Agriculture and Technology after they were removed
on the ground that though they were treated as Dalits in respective
states, yet the communities were not listed as Dalits in Uttarakhand.
The apex court, while dealing with the issue, referred to the
Constitution Bench ruling in Mari Chandra Shekar Rao case (1990)
wherein it was held that an SC candidate cannot derive the benefit of
reservation in another state unless the community was listed as
Scheduled Caste on the basis of the Presidential Order under Article
341 and 342.
A similar view was held by a three-judge bench in S Pushpa V
Sivachanmugavel (2005) case by relying on the Constitution Bench's
However, the three-judge Bench's ruling was ignored by a two-judge
Bench in the Subhash Chandra Vs Delhi Subordinate Services Selection
Board case in 2009 which took the view that the earlier direction by
the three-judge Bench was only an obiter dicta (suggestion) and was
not binding. It took a contary view that an SC even if he/she migrates
was entitled to the benefits of reservation.
The apex court today took exception to the two-judge bench's ruling
and said "in our considered opinion, it was not open to a two-judge
Bench to say that the decision of a three judge Bench rendered
following the Constitution Bench judgements to be per incuriam(a
mistake and not binding)."
The apex court, citing a Constitution Bench ruling, said the law laid
down by a larger Bench is binding on any subsequent Bench of lesser or
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