Question: What according to you should be the basis and limit of reservation of posts in Government service? Support your answer with relevant case law. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What according to you should be the basis and limit of reservation of posts in Government service? Support your answer with relevant… Read More »

Question: What according to you should be the basis and limit of reservation of posts in Government service? Support your answer with relevant case law. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What according to you should be the basis and limit of reservation of posts in Government service? Support your answer with relevant case law. [BJS 1991] Answer Reservation in India is all about reserving access to seats in government jobs, educational institutions, and...

Question: What according to you should be the basis and limit of reservation of posts in Government service? Support your answer with relevant case law.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What according to you should be the basis and limit of reservation of posts in Government service? Support your answer with relevant case law. [BJS 1991]

Answer

Reservation in India is all about reserving access to seats in government jobs, educational institutions, and even legislatures to certain sections of the population. The two main aims to provide reservation as per the Constitution of India are:

  • Advancement of Scheduled Castes (SC) and the Scheduled Tribes (ST) or any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or economically weaker sections- guaranteed under Article 15 (4), Article 15 (5), and Article 15 (6),
  • Adequate representation: of any backward class of citizens or economically weaker sections in the services under the State- guaranteed under Article 16 (4) and Article 16 (6)

The State of Madras v. Smt.Champakam Dorairajan’s (1951 AIR 226) case was the first major verdict of the Supreme Court on the issue of Reservation. The case led to the First Amendment in the constitution. The Supreme Court in the case pointed out that while in the case of employment under the State, Article 16(4) provides for reservations in favor of a backward class of citizens, no such provision was made in Article 15. Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order in the case, the Parliament amended Article 15 by inserting Clause (4).

In a famous case decided in 1992 of Indra Sawhney v. Union of India (AIR 1993 SC 477), the Supreme Court examined the scope and extent of Article 16(4). The Court has said that the creamy layer of OBCs should be excluded from the list of beneficiaries of reservation, there should not be reservations in promotions, and the total reserved quota should not exceed 50%.

The Parliament responded to the case by enacting the 77th Constitutional Amendment Act which introduced Article 16(4A). The article confers power on the state to reserve seats in favour of SC and ST in promotions in Public Services if the communities are not adequately represented in public employment.

The Supreme Court in M. Nagaraj v. Union of India (2002 (8) SC 212) 2006 case while upholding the constitutional validity of Art 16(4A) held that any such reservation policy in order to be constitutionally valid shall satisfy the following three constitutional requirements:

  • The SC and ST communities should be socially and educationally backwards.
  • The SC and ST communities are not adequately represented in public employment.
  • Such reservation policy shall not affect the overall efficiency of the administration.

In the Jarnail Singh vs Lachhmi Narain Gupta case of 2018, Supreme Court holds that reservation in promotions does not require the state to collect quantifiable data on the backwardness of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. The Court held that creamy layer exclusion extends to SC/STs and, hence the State cannot grant reservations in the promotion to SC/ST individuals who belong to the creamy layer of their community.

Recently, the Constitutional (103rd Amendment) Act of 2019 has provided 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the “economically backward” in the unreserved category. The Act amends Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution by adding clauses empowering the government to provide reservation on the basis of economic backwardness. This 10% economic reservation is over and above the 50% reservation cap.

Reservation is one of the tools against social oppression and injustice against certain classes as it helps in uplifting backward classes. However, reservation is just one of the methods for social upliftment. There are many other methods like providing scholarships, funds, coaching, and other welfare schemes. The way the reservation is implemented and executed in India is largely governed by vote-bank politics. Indian Constitution allowed reservation only for socially and educationally backward classes. However, in India, it became a caste-based reservation instead of a class-based reservation.

It’s the duty of the government to provide equality of status and opportunity in India. Article 14 of the Constitution also provides that unequals should not be treated equally, but reservation is not the only solution, especially considering the fact that it has been taken a fixed place in the Constitution even now when there is no implicit need for doing so. Therefore, according to me the basis and limit of reservation of posts in government services should be done by the state only with the purpose to make laws that promoted “social equality” and protect the welfare of weaker sections of society as enshrined under Article 46 of Indian constitution. Also, the “economic criteria” as held above should be one of the relevant factors which should identify social and educational backwardness.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  3. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-II
  4. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-05-26T07:03:17+05:30
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