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Plea filed in Supreme Court

What happened ? A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of 1993 Tamil Nadu quota law which provides for 69% quota to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes in admissions and government jobs in the state.

What Court said ? The Supreme Court said that the petition will not be decided until there is decision by Constitutional Bench on the validity of the Maratha quota law. The Bench also took note of the submissions that a similar petition has been pending before the court since 2012.

The petition filed this year is based on the ground that it violates Supreme Court’ s Mandal judgment passed in 1992 in which the ceiling of 50% quota was fixed.

Arguments made

  • The state pointed out to the Court that the Supreme Court in 1996 had allowed reservations under the 69% law to continue.

  • Subsequently, the state had also produced quantifiable data to justify reservation under the 1993 law.

  • But the petitioners were aggrieved that the reservation in admissions were being carried out without creating additional seats. This was seriously prejudicing open category candidates, the petitioners argued.

  • Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who is appearing for Tamil Nadu has opposed the contention and submitted that the Tamil Nadu Act of 1993, enjoys special protection under Article 31B of the Constitution (Ninth Schedule) and the hearing on these writ petitions can await till the Constitutional Bench gives a decision in Maratha quota case.

  • He also pointed out that the TN quota law was enacted in 1993 but the Maharashtra Act, 2018 was enacted after the Constitution 102nd Amendment.

102nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2018

Point to note | This Amendment granted constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes.

Legal provisions | Article 338B and 342A has been inserted by this Amendment Act, Article 338B provides that there shall be a Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes to be known as the National Commission for Backward Classes.

Article 342A provides that the President may with respect to any State or UT and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the socially and educationally backward classes which shall for the purposes of this Constitution be deemed to be socially and educationally backward classes in relation to that State or UT.

Article 31B | The provisions of Article 31B provide that the Acts and regulations specified in the Ninth Schedule or any other provisions thereof shall not be void on the ground that such Act, Regulation or provision is inconsistent with, or takes away or abridges any of the rights conferred by any provisions of this Part.

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