Include quota Bills in Ninth Schedule: Baghel to Modi

The two amendment Bills — that pave the way for 76% quota for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes — were passed unanimously by the Chhattisgarh Assembly last December, but are yet to receive the Governor’s nod

April 17, 2023 08:40 pm | Updated 08:40 pm IST - RAIPUR

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. | Photo Credit: ANI

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on April 17 wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the inclusion of two amendment Bills allowing for higher quota in jobs and educational institutions, in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.

The Ninth Schedule includes a list of Central and State laws which cannot be challenged in courts. In Chhattisgarh’s case, the two amendment Bills — that pave the way for 76% quota for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes — were passed unanimously by the State Assembly last December, but are yet to receive the Governor’s nod.

Mr. Baghel in his letter presented the demographics of the State and wrote that the “socio-economic and educational condition of the OBC people of the State is as weak as that of the SC/ST people. 3/4th of these classes are farmers, marginal and small farmers and a large number of them are agricultural labourers.”

“Keeping in view the special circumstances of the State of Chhattisgarh also, it is only by including the amended provision in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution that the people of the deprived and backward classes will be able to get justice. It is requested that all the concerned may kindly be directed in this regard,” he added.

High Court ruling

The Chhattisgarh High Court had, in last September, struck down a 2013 State government order to allow 58% quota, holding that reservation above the 50% ceiling was “unconstitutional”, followed by the passage of the Chhattisgarh Public Service (Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes Reservation) Amendment Bill and Chhattisgarh Educational Institutions (Reservation in admission) Amendment Bill. However, among the reasons mentioned by former Governor Anusuiya Uikey for refusing to sign the Bills was a Supreme Court ruling on capping the reservations at 50%.

The stalemate between the government and the Raj Bhavan has continued over the past four months despite a change in guard. On April 17, Chief Minister Baghel yet again urged Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan to either give his assent or return the Bills to the Assembly.

In the letter, Mr. Baghel cited the example of other States and a 2022 Supreme Court ruling to argue in favour of lifting the 50% cap.

”It is noteworthy that in the State of Tamil Nadu, where the per capita income is much higher than that of Chhattisgarh, and in many States of the northeast, the reservation for tribes and backward classes is more than the limit of 50%,” he wrote.

“Due to the legalization of the decision to give 10 per cent reservation to the people belonging to the backward class, the way has been paved to increase the limit of reservation from 50 per cent. In the last month, proposals have been passed in Jharkhand and Karnataka Legislative Assemblies to increase the percentage of reservation for various classes to more than 50,” he added.

On the ground, there is unrest regarding the delay in the passage of the Bills, especially among the Scheduled Tribe population, and this has also affected the recruitment and admissions.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.