Madras High Court scraps 10.5 per cent reservation given to Vanniyar community, calls it 'unconstitutional

The process of consultation for sub-classification within 20 per cent earmarked for MBCs began in 2012. TN Backward Caste Commission recommended 10.5 per cent reservation for Vanniyar community
The Madras High Court (Picture: Express)
The Madras High Court (Picture: Express)

The Madras High Court, on November 1, quashed the 10.5 per cent reservation provided to the Vanniyar community in government jobs and admissions to educational institutions, saying it was unconstitutional. The community falls under the 'Most Backward Community' (MBC) category in the state.

Earlier this year, the then AIADMK had piloted the Bill that aimed to provide internal reservation to the community — the Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed the Bill in February and the incumbent DMK government issued an order in July for its implementation.

It had split the aggregate 20 per cent reservation for MBCs and Denotified Communities into three separate categories by regrouping castes and provided a 10 per cent plus sub-quota for Vanniyars, formerly known as Vanniyakula Kshatriyas. "Is the State Government empowered to do internal reservation? The Constitution has given enough explanation. The legislation providing for internal reservation is cancelled," Justices M Duraiswamy and K Murali Sankar, who heard the batch of 50 petitions filed before the Bench challenging the validity of the legislation, ruled.

The judges said the State Government cannot come out with such a legislation. The petitioners contended that if such a reservation was implemented, then the Vanniyar community would enjoy reservation in jobs and admission, while 25 other castes under MBC and 68 other Denotified Communities would have to share the remaining quota.

The government said there was no political motive behind the enactment of the legislation. It denied the legislation was passed hastily before the notification of the Assembly elections this year, held on April 6, in violation of legislative assembly rules.

The government has the power to make a policy to legislate any law during its tenure. In fact, petitions had been filed seeking internal reservation. The process of consultation for sub-classification within 20 per cent earmarked for MBCs began in 2012. After door-to-door enumeration, the Tamil Nadu Backward Caste commission had recommended 10.5 per cent reservation for Vanniyar community.

The internal reservation will not affect other communities in the MBC section, the government said. Meanwhile, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss, whose party claims to represent the interests of the Vanniyar community, urged the State Government to move an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Madras High Court's verdict.

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