All UT Scheduled Castes Entitled for Quota: SC
PUDUCHERRY: The Supreme Court has set aside two orders passed by the Puducherry Government extending benefits of reservation in promotion, employment and professional courses only to Scheduled Castes (origins) of the Union Territory, on the grounds that it was not in conformity and consonance with the Presidential Order, 1964, and cannot be sustained in law.
The order was delivered by a three-member bench including Chief Justice R M Lodha and Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph on August 7. The two government orders passed on Nov 2005 and Dec 2005 are with regard to extension of reservation benefits in promotion and employment to Group C and D posts and in professional courses, to SC families living in Puducherry prior to 1964 and their descendants.
Those who had come to Puducherry after 1964 or living here after 1964, and their descendants are denied the benefits of reservation.
“It is important to bear in mind that it is by virtue of the notification of the President under Article 341(1) that the Scheduled Castes came into being. The members of Scheduled Castes are drawn from castes, races or tribes, attain a new status by virtue of Presidential Order. Clause (2) of Article 341 empowers Parliament alone by law to include or exclude from the list of Scheduled Castes specified in a notification issued under Clause (1) by the President. By no executive power, the amendment, modification, alteration or variance in the Presidential Order is permissible. It is not open to the Executive to do anything directly or indirectly which may lead to any change in the Presidential Order. Once Presidential Order has been issued under Article 341(1) or Article 342(1), any amendment can only be made by Parliament by law as provided in Article 341(2) or Article 342(2), as the case may be, and in no other manner. The interpretation of ‘resident’ in the Presidential Order as ‘of origin’ amounts to altering the Presidential Order,” the Bench observed in its order.
“The 15 castes listed in the schedule of the Presidential Order on castes, races or tribes or parts of groups within castes, and races are deemed to be Scheduled Castes for the purposes of the Constitution in relation to the UT of Pondicherry so far as regards members thereof are residents in the UT,” the bench observed.
The Puducherry Scheduled Caste People Welfare Association moved the Supreme Court against the UT Government after two writ petitions against the Puducherry Government’s order was dismissed by the Madras High Court on July 21, 2008.