HC rejects plea for directive to State on internal reservation within MBC quot
The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition which sought to restrain the State government from granting internal reservations to any particular caste within the quota reserved for the Most Backward Class (MBC).
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy rejected the plea as premature after Advocate-General (A-G) Vijay Narayan told the court that the Supreme Court was already seized of the issue of internal reservations within a quota. The A-G said the Supreme Court had passed an order on August 27, 2020 and now a seven-judge Bench of the court would decide the constitutional validity of granting internal reservations to individual castes within a broader quota.
C. Raja of Chennai had filed the PIL petition fearing that the government might end up granting internal reservations for Vanniyars within the MBC quota due to the pressure put by the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) with the upcoming Assembly election in mind.
He also apprehended that such internal reservation would be granted even before a Commission constituted by the government, under former High Court judge A. Kulasekaran, could conduct a thorough survey and collect quantifiable data on caste, communities and tribes in the State.
Wondering how the Commission could conduct such an elaborate exercise within the stipulated period of six months, the petitioner said the Ambasankar Commission had taken about two years to complete a similar exercise in 1983 when the population of the State was only 4.8 crore.
Stating that the population had grown to nearly 8 crore since then, the petitioner said it would be highly impossible for the Justice Kulasekaran Commission to conduct a microanalysis of all caste groups across the length and breadth of the State within six months.
Therefore, he urged the court to quash the government order (G.O.) issued on December 21 for the constitution of the Commission, in so far as it prescribes an outer limit of six months and consequently restrain the government from granting internal caste-based reservation.
After recording his submissions, the judges said they could not interfere in the issue even before the Commission submitted its report. They, however, observed that it would be open to the petitioner to file a case afresh after the submission of the report.