The 103rd Constitutional Amendment for the introduction of 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections was a fraud committed on the Constitution of India and could not be supported, said K. Chandru, former judge of the Madras High Court.
Delivering the Dakshayani Velayudhan memorial lecture organised by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social Justice of the National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS), Kochi, on Monday on ‘Social justice and Indian judiciary’, Mr. Chandru said the Indian judiciary had become a roadblock to social justice.
The 10% reservation created a quota for the upper castes who have been dominating the social life of the country for more than 20 centuries. It was vote bank politics, and a special reservation for higher castes was never contemplated in the original Constitution, he said.
The income criteria introduced for availing benefits of reservation showed that not merely the underprivileged but even the reasonably affluent middle class categories would benefit. If poverty was the criteria for introducing a new category of Economically Weaker Sections, why were Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and other backward classes excluded from the purview of reservation, he asked.
Women, minorities, SC/STs, and other backward classes are not adequately represented in the judiciary. There is not enough representation for such categories in High Courts and the Supreme Court though competent hands are available. Even after 72 years of the working of the Constitution, the higher judiciary was dominated by persons drawn from upper castes and not from other communities, minorities or women, he said.
The under-representation of minorities, women, and persons from lower caste groups has its own disadvantages in the decision-making process. Many rulings were flawed due to gender bias and rank communal orientation, he said.
Mr. Chandru criticised the collegium system for the recruitment of judges to High Courts and the Supreme Court as a system for secretly recruiting people. It was also a very convenient system to push people, and the government could also push the appointment of some people through it, he said.
Industries and Law Minister P. Rajeeve inaugurated the programme. NUALS Vice Chancellor K.C. Sunny, policy analyst Meera Velayudhan and former diplomat K.V. Bhagirath, children of Dakshayani Velayudhan, Interdisciplinary Centre for Social Justice Director K. Abhayachandran, faculty member S. Mini, and students Fahad Abdu Rehman and Sandra Sunil attended.