Recent Damages to India’s Social Justice Architecture

0
115

– D. Shyam Babu*

[Note: This is an advanced version of the article that will be published in Volume 33(2)]

Abstract: Part XVI of the Constitution of India enumerates special provisions relating to the general welfare of the Scheduled Castes (‘SCs’), Scheduled Tribes (‘STs’), and Other Backward Classes (‘OBCs’). These provisions form the basic architecture of India’s social justice commitments to its citizens. This article argues that in recent years this architecture has been diluted to the detriment of the interests of the SCs, STs, and OBCs. This article critiques the approach of the Indian judiciary towards the welfare of SCs and STs by arguing that its actions are guided by the majoritarian public opinion, rather than the constitutional principles of equality and justice. It particularly criticizes the Supreme Court of India for convoluting the reservation system in India at the expense of the SCs and STs. This article also argues that by incorporation of Article 338B in the Constitution of India the government has transmogrified OBCs into SCs and STs. It also analyses the recently enacted Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Act, 2019 which granted reservations to the economically weaker sections among the upper castes. The article hopes that the provision of quotas for the upper castes will help in reducing the stigma faced by the SCs and STs.

I.                   Introduction

Of late, profound changes have been taking place with regard to India’s social justice architecture but, unfortunately, they could not get the attention of political leaders or even community activists. Part XVI of the Constitution of India deals with ‘Special Provisions Relating to Certain Classes’, wherein the nation’s philosophy of helping historically-marginalised groups is enshrined.[1] The structural changes to this Part must trouble scholars who pay attention to their long-term consequences. This has particular relevance for those committed to the Constitution, in letter and spirit. This essay seeks to flag three of those changes, each of which pertains to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (‘SC/STs’), the Other Backward Classes (‘OBCs’), and others or those upper castes now known as the Economically Backward Classes (‘EBCs’). One can instinctively see the moral descent of the nation’s conception of and commitment to social justice. This paper argues that this overused and abused expression meant, in the past, our obligation to uplift the people most discriminated against and excluded, later it was cheapened as a political slogan to bring in backward groups, and finally, it has now been used to equate the poor among the upper castes with the other two groups.

While inserting Part XVI, the Constituent Assembly had proceeded with three assumptions. One, since the SC/STs were victims of social prejudices, especially the caste system, they needed special provisions to help them reap the benefits of full citizenship.[2] Two, the Assembly felt that even though there weren’t any other clearly identifiable social groups that required special provisions, an effort needed to be made to identify ‘classes’ that might be in need of State support by way of additional financial resources for their upliftment.[3] Three, it felt that constitutional governance in independent India would over time improve the social and economic conditions of all groups.[4] For long, the above three assumptions enjoyed a broad national consensus, though there were claims laid by non-SC/STs to special provisions such as job quotas. Since 1950, these claims coupled with resentment against special provisions for the SC/STs, amounted to a serious challenge to the social justice philosophy of the Constitution. But, those challenges were largely confined to public debates and street protests, and never acquired traction in courts or in the Parliament.

Since 2014, a slew of policies, verdicts by the higher judiciary and amendments to the Constitution have turned our understanding of social justice, as enshrined in the Constitution, upside down. In order to present a broad context, Section II briefly discusses Part XVI of the Constitution and its centrality to India’s social justice project. Section III flags two issues that are thought to be inimical to the SC/ST rights, namely the alleged misuse of the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act, 1989 (‘the Atrocities Act’), and the issue of creamy layer among SC/STs. Section IV highlights how the newly-formed National Commission for Backward Classes (‘NCBC’) is problematic, as it militates against the spirit of Part XVI. Section V discusses the extension of job quotas to the poor among the upper castes, or the EBCs. Section VI concludes the analysis in the paper.

II.                Part XVI of the Constitution of India (Articles 330 to 342)

This Part guarantees representation for the SC/STs in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies,[5] as well as quotas in public employment (job quotas).[6] Anglo-Indians used to be the third social group mentioned in this Part, but the same rights and protections for them were allowed to be lapsed, as the Constitution treated these provisions in their case as transitory.[7] Though Article 334 stipulated that political reservations were to be lapsed after 10 years,[8] it has been amended several times to extend these reservations till now and their discontinuation appears unlikely. In popular perception, job quotas too were to be ended after ten years, but Article 335 doesn’t mention any time limit for them.[9] Article 338 originally created a ‘special officer’ for the SC/STs, to monitor constitutional guarantees, attendant legislation and policies for them, and make recommendations to the President;[10] the institution has now evolved into two National Commissions, one for the SCs and the other for the STs.[11] Article 339 provides for the administration of Scheduled Areas, where the ST population is predominant, and the Fifth and the Sixth Schedules to the Constitution stipulate an elaborate mechanism for this purpose.[12] Article 340 was meant to provide a mechanism to identify groups, other than the SC/STs, that might be in need of State support for their social and educational advancement (more on this Article in Section IV).[13] The two other Articles (341 and 342) pertain to the SC/STs; the former contains the lists of the SCs and the latter contains those of the STs.[14] Of late, a few features from this Part have been stretched beyond their original intent due to electoral politics, or sought to be diluted to the detriment of SC/ST interests. A recent example is the attempt by the Uttar Pradesh government in 2019 to add some backward castes to the SC list, even though it is the prerogative of the President of India to do so under Article 341.[15] The sum and substance of the trend appears to adversely affect the SC/STs, the intended beneficiaries of Part XVI in the first place.

III.             How the Judiciary Misses the Forest for the Trees

On March 20, 2018, the Supreme Court framed guidelines on how to deal with a non-SC/ST person falsely accused under the Atrocities Act.[16] In a way, this was the judiciary’s nod to a longstanding and vocal demand that, since the misuse of the Act was so rampant, there was need for a mechanism to protect the innocent, if not repealing the Act altogether.[17] While delivering its verdict in Subhash Kashinath Mahajan v State of Maharashtra, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court noted that the Atrocities Act was never meant to be (but, by implication, became) “a charter for exploitation or oppression,”[18] and “an instrument of blackmail or to wreak personal vengeance.”[19] It resulted in unrest and loss of life but after eighteen months on October 1, 2019 a three-judge bench of the Court recalled the verdict.[20]

The above saga is a reflection of the trend among all three branches of government having a unity of mind on social justice provisions, that is not always in consonance with the Constitution. It all started in December 2014, when a Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment recommended for “an inbuilt provision” to protect those falsely implicated under the Act.[21]Leaving aside a few minor infractions of the verdict, the whole affair reeks of unreasonableness and impropriety. Foremost among the issues is that the Atrocities Act is no more or no less misused. As the Court noted in its 2019 judgment, the rate of misuse of the Act is comparable to that of any other Act.[22] Since no other Act contains a similar provision that ipso facto inhibits a complainant from invoking the Act, why should the Atrocities Act be burdened with such a provision? The bench in 2018 did not ask why the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, in case of false accusations or testimony, were found to be inadequate in tackling false cases under the Atrocities Act. The government did, in fact, suggest that invoking the IPC provisions would address the issue of false cases.[23] It is also ironical that the impetus for the original judgment came from a Parliamentary Panel which is entrusted with safeguarding the interests of SC/STs.

The failures of the larger system are no less glaring. Neither the Standing Committee in 2014 nor the Supreme Court in 2018 cared to ask relevant ministries/agencies the pertinent question: Is the misuse of the Atrocities Act so widespread and rampant to warrant inbuilt safeguards against such misuse?

The Court took the Committee’s report as the final word, whereas the Committee, being attached to the Ministry of Social Justice, took most inputs from the Ministry.[24] Curiously, although officials from the Ministries of Home and Law and Justice did attend the Committee’s proceedings, the Report carried little by way of their responses and inputs, except reiterating their past positions on the subject.[25] This matters because, as per the Allocation of Business Rules, the criminal justice part of the Atrocities Act comes under the purview of the Home Ministry.[26] As the National Crime Records Bureau (‘NCRB’) — the repository of all crimes, including convictions and acquittals as well as crimes by category and by Act — is a part of the Home Ministry, the latter could have provided comparative information about the misuse of other Acts and that of the Atrocities Act in 2014, or in 2018. The Committee Report cited data from the NCRB merely for the Atrocities Act. Therefore, it is not unfair to assert that both the Committee and the Court allowed themselves to be carried away by gossip and conjecture, to determine an issue that affects the life and limb of more than 300 million Indians. They could have asked, but did not, for data on the extent of misuse, and how and why those found to have filed false cases did not receive punishment under the law, or how that punishment was found to be ineffective.

The litany of omissions and commissions that militate against the Constitution must include two omissions: One, if asked, the Home Ministry could have clarified how many ‘public servants’ suffered due to false cases against them under the Atrocities Act, and what happened to those SC/ST government employees who slapped false cases against colleagues and higher-ups, and; two, the neglect meted out to the two National Commissions, one each for the SCs and STs, setup under Articles 338 and 338A. Clause 9 of both Articles makes it mandatory for both the central and the state governments to consult these National Commissions “on all major policy matters affecting” the SC/STs.[27] There is no record to show that the government(s) consult these august Constitutional bodies.

Another major issue on which the judiciary allowed itself to be guided by the public opinion, rather than the Constitution, is the question of whether or not the so-called ‘creamy layer’ among the SC/STs should be allowed to access job quotas. The government holds that the SC/STs are entitled to reservations, irrespective of their economic status, because the caste system that throws hurdles in their way is not a mere economic arrangement.[28] However, since the 1951 Champakam Dorairajan case, which was the first case to challenge caste-based reservations as being in conflict with the Right to Equality (under Article 16),[29] the judiciary has been grappling with how to balance the Fundamental Right to Equality in public employment with reservations by way of preferential treatment in favour of the SC/STs. The Apex Court remains unimpressed by the fact that (a) the Constituent Assembly was mindful of the tension but expected the nation to strike a balance, and (b) the innumerable amendments to the Constitution (beginning with the First Amendment in 1951 which was necessitated by the Champakam Dorairajan verdict against caste-based reservations) seek to frame reservations as a justifiable exception to the equality rule.[30]Such divergence in approaches is not unnatural, but its persistence leads to prolonged litigation. The result is that in public consciousness, reservations are unfair as they benefit either ‘meritless’ or well-off groups among the SC/STs. At least since its 2006 verdict in M. Nagaraj v Union of India,[31] the Court has been entertaining purely political arguments, against reservations or in favour of barring the ‘creamy-layer’ among the SC/STs either from receiving promotions under the quota[32] or from accessing reservations at all. As a result, in litigation involving service matters like promotions, thousands of employees are denied their promotions, as the litigation results in stay of proceedings. Citing the Nagaraj verdict, for example, the High Courts of Rajasthan and Allahabad set aside the provision of reservations in promotion in favour of the SC/STs in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh respectively.In fact, the Supreme Court upheld those judgments.[33]

The popular angst against reservations hinges on two kinds of arguments. During the first three or four decades after Independence, the argument was that since not many ‘qualified’ SC/ST candidates were available, many officer-grade posts and jobs technical in nature were de facto kept outside the purview of reservations. Now, the argument is that the creamy-layer is grabbing all quota jobs at the cost of its less-privileged brethren who were, in the earlier period, found to be meritless.

In allowing itself to be an arena for this contestation, the Supreme Court is unfair to the SC/STs in two respects. First, the creamy-layer filter came into judicial vogue in the context of OBC Reservations.[34] Entertaining litigation that seeks to equate the SC/STs with the OBCs is problematic, because the lack of adequate representation for the OBCs in government employment is thought to be due to their poverty, and hence, quotas are for the poor among them. In the case of the SC/STs, they are given quotas, without which they cannot enter public employment due to the discrimination they face. It should not matter whether a group among the SC/STs is excluded from the purview of quotas, so long as their overall quota is filled. The second folly of the Court is to treat job reservations as if they were a poverty-alleviation measure. There could be some merit if we removed the creamy-layer from all public employment, but restricting quotas only for the poor among the SC/STs has no logic. In fact, the creamy-layer among the SC/STs helps us fulfil the ‘efficiency’ condition attached to job quotas under Article 335.

The long and short of the quota litigation since 1951 is that the whole reservation system for the SC/STs is kept alive as a disputed matter rather than as a feature of the Constitution that deserves to be preserved, nurtured and protected against corrosion from within and assaults from without.

IV.             The Use, Misuse, Abuse and Mummifying of Article 340

As already mentioned, the Constituent Assembly was conscious of the possibility that there could be classes of people who were socially and educationally backward and would require State support. Under Article 340(1), the Assembly stipulated the appointment of a Commission to “investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes…and to make recommendations as to the steps that should be taken…to improve their condition and as to the grants that should be made for the purpose” [emphasis added].[35] This Article has proved to be the most contentious since 1950, and it resulted in the setting up of two Commissions to identify the backward classes (the Kaka Kalelkar Commission in 1953 and the Mandal Commission in 1979), and a permanent, statutory NCBC in 1993, which was accorded a Constitutional status in 2018 under the new Article 338B, far away from Article 340.[36]To be sure, there were and are groups who are not in the league of SC/STs as victims of caste discrimination and untouchability, but they are backward socially and educationally. “May I ask,” T.T. Krishnamachari queried in the Constituent Assembly on November 30, 1948, “who are the backward class of citizens?” He also declared, “It does not apply to a backward caste.”[37] Krishnamachari reflected the sense of the Assembly that the backward classes would never mean castes but an amorphous group(s) of people who are not SC/STs. They could be upper castes in remote, inhospitable or barren areas, or victims of vicissitudes of nature. The intended purpose of the Article was for the Commission to study “the difficulties under which they labour” and suggest “the steps that should be taken…to remove such difficulties and to improve their condition and as to the grants that should be made for the purpose.”[38] The Assembly clearly thought that Article 340 would result in programs and schemes to improve the educational and social welfare of the OBCs and no stretch of the Article could yield the implication that it somehow envisaged job quotas.[39] Some members in the Assembly, such as H.V. Kamath, were certain that the operation of Article 340 would not go beyond ten years after the commencement of the Constitution.[40] The straying away from the letter and spirit of the Article started with the 1955 Report of the Kalelkar Commission (also known as the First Backward Classes Commission), which recommended job quotas for the OBCs, even though its terms of reference (‘ToR’) made no mention of job quotas.[41] Granted, national commissions being statutory and high-level bodies can go beyond their ToR and one cannot blame this or its successors for doing so. But, such a deviation requires the invention of fictitious forms of discrimination and exclusion. That is exactly what happened with the operation of Article 340. The justification for OBC job quotas forced their votaries to argue that the OBCs face discrimination and exclusion on par with the SC/STs!

The trend culminated in the creation of a new NCBC in 2018, with the insertion of Article 338(B), as a sibling of the two National Commissions, one for the SCs and the other for the STs.[42] The government did not trouble itself for drafting a new Article, but instead photocopied Article 338 and rechristened it as Article 338(B), replacing the words “the Scheduled Castes” with “the socially and educationally backward classes.” If the NCBC is identical to the NCSC or the NCST, the OBCs ought to be identical to the SC/STs. Thus, through this legislative sleight of hand, the government has flattened the caste hierarchy by transmogrifying the OBCs into the SC/STs.

Just like the NCSC or the NCST, the NCBC will have all the powers of a civil court to summon anybody, requisition evidence and receive evidence on affidavits in discharge of its functions.[43] Under Article 338B, it can also “investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for” the OBCs and “inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of” the OBCs.[44] Since the OBCs have not been granted any ‘safeguards’ under the law, operationalization of this feature may in future require a law similar to the Atrocities Act.

The new NCBC is different from its predecessors in two respects. One, it is no longer expected to identify the backward classes (the Parliament will do that job for the central list),[45] and two, it has no role in defining backwardness.[46] Presumably, politics will determine who is an OBC. With the new NCBC coming into being in 2018, the raison d’etre for Article 340 has disappeared but the government did not even accord the Article the dignity of a repeal. In a way, the Article remains mummified.

V.                Job Quotas for the Poor Among the Upper Castes

In a rare instance of efficiency and speed, the government passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill a few months before the 2019 general elections,[47] to grant 10% reservations in educational institutions and in public employment to ‘economically weaker sections’ among the upper castes and implemented them forthwith.[48] In the same month as the Bill was passed and became a law, the Department of Higher Education and the Department of Personnel and Training issued notifications granting reservations for this category in educational institutions and in public employment at the central level.[49] The Amendment inserted new clauses to Articles 15 and 16, by way of exceptions to the Fundamental Right to Equality. The government justified its action by citing the need to give effect to Article 46, which is a Directive Principle, and deals with the “promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections.”[50] Neither Article 46 nor any other Article in the Constitution envisages extending reservations solely on the basis of poverty. This step, therefore, is a radical departure from the general consensus that economic backwardness (poverty) cannot be a criterion for granting quotas.

The history of India’s quota system post-Independence may be divided into three phases. In phase one, quotas were given to the SC/STs who were the victims of caste discrimination. In 1950, there was a consensus over the need to put them as a special category. In phase two, however, the quotas were given to the OBCs, who may be the left-outs of the caste system but not its victims; at least, not to the same extent as the SC/STs. In the third and final phase, the poor among the upper castes were allowed onto the quota bandwagon.

Despite apparent incongruities of the move, one must accept that even if the Constitution is silent on the poverty criterion, the government has the right to insert such a condition if the situation so warrants. If there were electoral calculations that might have influenced the decision, that could be explained away as a part of democracy. In any case, all quotas carry the stigma of being driven by vote-bank politics.

Now that the 10% quota for the poor among the upper castes has become a fait accompli, one can focus on its logical outcome in the years to come. Consider one possibility: for decades, the SC/ST reservations were sought to be delegitimized as they were thought to affect merit. ‘Quota boys’ has been a term of derision. Now that others, the OBCs and the upper castes who did the ridiculing, have entered the quota tent, hopefully the reservations will enjoy popular support.

We must also consider one more consequence. Poverty matters, and whether one is from urban or rural area matters. One’s proficiency in English matters. While candidates for public employment from the SC/ST and the general categories come from the widest possible catchment, the candidates from the OBC and the poor among the upper castes come from the lower strata from each segment. In this group, candidates tend to be poor, from rural areas and less proficient in English. Their educational attainments, compared to the other group, will be modest.

One is not certain how these matters will percolate into public consciousness. Unlike the received wisdom, one may confront a very articulate SC/ST officer because she is drawn from a large pool of educated and well-off candidates (the creamy layer), and a very inarticulate Brahmin officer drawn from a limited pool because of the poverty filter. How must one process such an encounter?

A question to ponder: What is it that we, as Indians, seek to accomplish through all the measures of social engineering? Have we succeeded?

VI.              Conclusion

Change is constant. In matters of social change and mobility, subjective arguments may take precedence over substantive matters of justice, law and the imperatives of nation-building. It is not an accident that Marc Galanter, who produced a seminal book on Reservations, titled his book, Competing Equalities. Being a democracy, India cannot setup an expert committee which uses an objective scale to measure backwardness to recommend who must get priority in public employment. The challenge for democracy is to balance competing interests, to persuade all to come along even though the ensuing bargain suits no one fully. Such a task requires tact, honesty and vision, which are in short supply in India.


* Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Views are personal. I am grateful to Kashish Makkar and his team, especially Apoorva Nangia and Jwalika Balaji, who provided valuable assistance. In fact, their enthusiastic involvement amounted to a review process, making my paper much better than I could have managed it.

[1] Constitution of India 1950, pt XVI.

[2] ‘Constituent Assembly of India Debates (Proceedings) – Volume VII’ (30 November 1948) <https://www.constitutionofindia.net/constitution_assembly_debates/volume/7/1948-11-23> accessed 21 August 2020.

[3] ‘Constituent Assembly of India Debates (Proceedings) – Volume VII’ (30 November 1948) <https://www.constitutionofindia.net/constitution_assembly_debates/volume/7/1948-11-30> accessed 21 August 2020; Marc Galanter, ‘Who Are the Other Backward Classes?: An Introduction to a Constitutional Puzzle’ (1978) 13(43/44) Economic and Political Weekly 1812, 1814.

[4] ‘Constituent Assembly of India Debates (Proceedings) – Volume VII’ (30 November 1948) <https://www.constitutionofindia.net/constitution_assembly_debates/volume/7/1948-11-23> accessed 21 August 2020.

[5] Constitution of India 1950, arts 330, 332.

[6] Constitution of India 1950, art 335.

[7] Constitution of India 1950, arts 331, 333, 336, 337.

[8] Constitution of India 1950, art 334.

[9] Constitution of India 1950, art 335.

[10] Constitution of India 1950, art 338.

[11] Constitution of India 1950, arts 338, 338-A.

[12] Constitution of India 1950, art 339.

[13] Constitution of India 1950, art 340.

[14] Constitution of India 1950, arts 341, 342.

[15] ‘Uttar Pradesh Adds 17 OBC Groups to Scheduled Castes List’ The Hindu (Lucknow, 30 June 2019) <https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-adds-17-obc-groups-to-sc-list/article28231615.ece#> accessed 21 August 2020.

[16] Subhash Kashinath Mahajan v State of Maharashtra (2018) 6 SCC 454.

[17]Anand Teltumbde, ‘Why the Misuse of the SC/ST Act is Nothing but a Bogey’ The Economic Times (6 April 2018) <https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/why-the-misuse-of-the-sc/st-act-is-nothing-but-a-bogey/articleshow/63648662.cms?from=mdr> accessed 23 August 2020.

[18] Subhash Kashinath Mahajan (n 16) [64].

[19] ibid [72].

[20] Union of India v State of Maharashtra (2020) 4 SCC 761 : 2019 SCC Online SC 1279.

[21] Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014 – Sixth Report (Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment 2014) <http://164.100.47.193/lsscommittee/Social%20Justice%20&%20Empowerment/16_Social_Justice_And_Empowerment_6.pdf> accessed 21 August 2020.

[22] Subhash Kashinath Mahajan (n 16) [48].

[23] Dhananjay Mahapatra, ‘False Cases: Govt Says won’t Tweak SC/ST Act’ The Times of India (14 February 2018) <https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/false-cases-govt-says-wont-tweak-sc/st-act/articleshow/62908142.cms> accessed 21 August 2020.

[24] Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014 – Sixth Report (Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment 2014) 28 <http://164.100.47.193/lsscommittee/Social%20Justice%20&%20Empowerment/16_Social_Justice_And_Empowerment_6.pdf> accessed 21 August 2020.

[25] ibid.

[26] Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961, sch II.

[27] Constitution of India 1950, arts 338(9), 338-A(9). 

[28] Union of India v State of Maharashtra (2020) 4 SCC 761 : 2019 SCC Online SC 1279.

[29] State of Madras v Champakam Dorairajan AIR 1951 SC 226.

[30] The Constitution (First Amendment) Act 1951; The Constitution (Seventy-Seventh Amendment) Act 1995; The Constitution (Eighty-First Amendment) Act 2000; The Constitution (Eighty-Second Amendment) Act 2000; The Constitution (Eighty-Fifth Amendment) Act 2002.

[31] (2006) 8 SCC 212.

[32] Jarnail Singh v Lachhmi Narain Gupta 2018 SCC OnLine SC 1641; Samanwaya Rautray, ‘Governments kept Ignoring SC, ST Creamy Layer Order: Supreme Court’ The Economic Times (4 December 2019) <https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/governments-kept-ignoring-sc-st-creamy-layer-order-supreme-court/articleshow/72358280.cms#:~:text=NEW%20DELHI%3A%20The%20Supreme%20Court,have%20yet%20to%20implement%20it.&text=The%20top%20court%20has%20since,nine%20times%20in%20various%20cases.> accessed 23 August 2020.

[33] Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Action Taken by the Government on the Recommendations Contained in the Twenty Sixth Report (Fifteenth Lok Sabha) of the Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on the subject “Review of Representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Senior Positions of Government of India” – Third Report (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions 2015) 17 <http://164.100.47.193/lsscommittee/Welfare%20of%20Scheduled%20Castes%20and%20Scheduled%20Tribes/16_Welfare_of_Scheduled_Castes_and_Scheduled_Tribes_3.pdf> accessed 4 April 2018.

[34] Indra Sawhney v Union of India 1992 Supp (3) SCC 217 : AIR 1993 SC 477.

[35] Constitution of India 1950, art 340(1).

[36] The Constitution (One Hundred and Second Amendment) Act 2018.

[37] ‘Constituent Assembly of India Debates (Proceedings) – Volume VII’ (30 November 1948) <https://www.constitutionofindia.net/constitution_assembly_debates/volume/7/1948-11-30> accessed 21 August 2020.

[38] Constitution of India 1950, art 340.

[39] ‘Constituent Assembly of India Debates (Proceedings) – Volume VIII’ (16 June 1949) <https://www.constitutionofindia.net/constitution_assembly_debates/volume/8/1949-06-16#8.106.169> accessed 21 August 2020.

[40] ibid.

[41] Government of India, Report of the Backward Classes Commission (1955) I(viii) <https://dspace.gipe.ac.in/xmlui/handle/10973/33678> accessed 21 August 2020.

[42] Constitution of India 1950, arts 338 and 338-A.

[43] Constitution of India 1950, art 338-B(8).

[44] Constitution of India 1950, arts 338-B(5)(a), 338-B(5)(b).

[45] Constitution of India 1950, art 342-A(2).

[46] Constitution of India 1950, art 366(26-C).

[47] The Lok Sabha passed the Bill on the same day it was introduced (January 8, 2019) and the Rajya Sabha passed it the next day. ‘The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019’ (PRS India) <https://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/constitution-one-hundred-and-twenty-fourth-amendment-bill-2019> accessed 3 September 2020.

[48] The Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) 2019.

[49] ‘Annual Policy Review: April 2018 – March 2019’ (PRS Legislative Research, April 2019) <https://13.232.170.12/sites/default/files/policy_peviews_pdfs/APR%202018-19.pdf.> accessed 3 September 2020.

[50] Constitution of India 1950, art 46; Apurva Vishwanath, ‘EWS Quota Law: What a Five-Judge Constitution Bench will Look into’ The Indian Express (New Delhi, 7 August 2020) <https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/ews-quota-law-what-a-five-judge-constitution-bench-will-look-into-6543170/> accessed 21 August 2020.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here