Published: 08th February 2024
Supreme Court reserves order on states power to create sub-classify SC and ST
These legal proceedings stem from a desire to reconsider a 2004 judgement by a five-judge Constitution bench in the EV Chinnaiah vs State of Andhra Pradesh case
The Supreme Court today, Thursday, February 8, deliberated on whether a state government has the authority to create a sub-classification within scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) to grant reservation in admissions and public jobs, reports, PTI.
According to the report, the issue was brought before a seven-judge constitution bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud. During the proceedings, submissions were made by Attorney General R Venkataramani, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, and representatives from various states. They sought a review of the EV Chinnaiah judgement from 2004, which had determined that all SC communities, having endured centuries of ostracisation, discrimination and humiliation, constitute a homogeneous class, thereby, incapable of being sub-categorised.
According to PTI, the bench, comprising justices BR Gavai, Vikram Nath, Bela M Trivedi, Pankaj Mithal, Manoj Misra, and Satish Chandra Mishra, is hearing 23 petitions, including the primary one filed by the Punjab government, which challenges a 2010 ruling by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
These legal proceedings stem from a desire to reconsider a 2004 judgement by a five-judge Constitution bench in the EV Chinnaiah vs State of Andhra Pradesh case. This earlier ruling had concluded that SCs and STs are homogeneous groups, precluding states from further sub-categorising them to provide quotas within quotas for more disadvantaged and marginalised castes within these groups, reports PTI.
The Chinnaiah judgement had held that any sub-classification of the Scheduled Castes would violate Article 14 (Right to Equality) of the Constitution.
The 2004 verdict had stated that only Parliament, and not state legislatures, can exclude castes deemed to be SC from the Presidential List under Article 341 of the Constitution.