SC ‘no’ to reservation benefit in other State

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Aug 2018 08:43:17



THE Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste listed in a particular state would not be entitled to reservation benefits if he migrates to another State for employment or education. “A person notified as a Scheduled Caste in State ‘A’ cannot claim the same status in another State on the basis  that he is declared a Scheduled Caste in State ‘A’,” said a Constitution Bench.

The enabling provision under Article 16(4) of the Constitution is to “provide for reservation to classes or categories of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes enumerated in the Presidential orders for a particular state or territory within the geographical area of that state and not beyond”, said the Constitution Bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, in a majority judgment.

However, it said, “... so far as the National Capital Territory of Delhi is concerned, the pan-India reservation rule in force is in accord with the constitutional scheme relating to services under the Union and the States/Union Territories.”
The court said this while addressing the question of “whether a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste in relation to a particular State is entitled or not to the benefits or concessions allowed to Scheduled Caste candidates in employment in any other State.” The bench also addressed the question whether the States on their own could add to the Presidential list of SCs/STs for particular States.

Speaking for the majority, including Justices N V Ramana, Mohan M Shantanagoudar and S Abdul Nazeer, Justice Gogoi said: ... that the expression “in relation to that State or Union Territory” and “for the purpose of this Constitution” used in Articles 341 and 342 would mean that the benefits of reservation provided for by the Constitution would stand confined to geographical territories of a State/UT in respect of which the list of SC/ST have been notified by Presidential orders issued from time to time.”

The court said that if a state wants to extend the benefits of reservation to a class/categories of people beyond those included in the Presidential list for that State, it will have to “prevail” upon the Central authority to undertake appropriate parliamentary exercise to amend and expand the list.