Legal Correspondent

Wait for nine-judge Bench judgment on 1993 Act

  • 93rd amendment to overcome Inamdar case judgment: petitioner
  • It'is all "vote politics"

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to stay the operation of the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions) Act, 2006 providing for 69 per cent quota.

    "No stay, only notice [to the Centre and the Tamil Nadu Government]. You wait for the judgment [of the nine-judge Bench dealing with the validity of the 1993 Act providing for 69 per cent quota.]," Justices Arijit Pasayat and Lokeshwar Singh Panta told senior counsel K.M. Vijayan, appearing for the petitioner, Voice (Consumer Care) Council.

    Mr. Vijayan said the 93rd Constitution Amendment enabled the States to provide for reservation in private institutions by introducing Clause (5) to Article 15. Subsequently the Tamil Nadu Government enacted a new law, which was contrary to the Mandal judgment. The petitioner said the 93rd amendment was introduced to overcome the judgment in P.A. Inamdar's case, in which the apex court categorically held that there shall be no reservation in institutions run by minority or non-minority unaided institutions.

    The petitioner contended that the fundamental rights prohibiting discrimination in admissions to educational institutions being a basic structure of the Constitution, the State should not pass even a Constitution amendment violating the basic structure of the Constitution as per the principles laid down in the Keshavananda Bharati case. The amendment exposed the fact that vote politics wanted to preserve reservation, provided solely on the basis of caste and also excluding the minority, also for political considerations.

    On the Tamil Nadu law, the petitioner said, "already the reservation in the State is excessive.