'Modify date in President's order from 1964 to include all SCs': AIADMK

In a petition, former AIADMK MLA A Anbalagan said the then President had issued the 'Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964,' which designated 15 castes as SCs.

Published: 08th September 2023 07:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2023 07:51 AM   |  A+A-

Former AIADMK MLA A Anbalagan.

By Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: Seeking reservation benefits for members of the Scheduled Castes (SCs), categorised as migrants in Puducherry, the AIADMK has urged the President of India, Draupadi Murmu, to modify the date and year in the Presidential order of 1964 that specifies the list of SCs eligible for reservation in the union territory.

In a petition, former AIADMK MLA A Anbalagan said the then President had issued the 'Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964,' which designated 15 castes as SCs. Members of only these castes were entitled to reservation benefits. Pointing out that the original Presidential order did not distinguish between 'origin' and 'migrant' SCs, Anbalagan said beneficiaries were only required to be residents of Puducherry. The government of Puducherry, however, issued two orders in 2005, both of which restricted reservation benefits to only those SCs who had been residents of Puducherry prior to March 5, 1964.

The Puducherry SC People Welfare Association took up the matter with the Supreme Court, leading to a 2014 judgment that set aside the 2005 government orders, abolishing the distinction between 'origin' and 'migrant' SCs. The government, however, has continued to extend benefits exclusively to SC families who settled prior to 1964. The distinction was also reflected in the census data from 2011, according to which, of the 16% SC population in the UT, around 10% were 'origin' SCs while 6% were 'migrant' SCs, despite the latter section having settled in the UT for over half a century.

Calling this treatment unequal and unjust, Anbalagan suggested modifying the date for the consideration of SCs as residents of Puducherry to 2001 — in line with the cutoff year to avail benefits under the OBC (Other Backward Classes) quota for jobs and education in the UT. He highlighted that any amendment to the Presidential order, as stipulated in Article 341 (1) of the Constitution, can only be made by the Parliament. 

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