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Policy to Give Reservation Cannot Be Questioned Even by Courts: SC

The bench was dealing with a clutch of matters relating to reservation of SC/ST upon migration from other states to NCT of Delhi.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:August 31, 2018, 8:22 AM IST
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Policy to Give Reservation Cannot Be Questioned Even by Courts: SC
Representative Image/ Illustration by Mir Suhail.
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The Supreme Court has held that the "policy decision to provide reservation is beyond the pale of judicial review."

On Thursday, a Constitution Bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi noted that the reservations were being provided under the Constitutional provisions and it was an exercise in affirmative rights.

"The Presidential Orders issued under Article 341 in regard to Scheduled Castes and under Article 342 in regard to Scheduled Tribes cannot be varied or altered by any authority, including the court," said the bench, highlighting the paramountcy of the orders.

"It is Parliament alone which has been vested with the power to so act, that too, by laws made. Any expansion or deletion of the list of SC/ST by any authority except Parliament would be against the constitutional mandate under Articles 34 and 342 of the Constitution of India," it added.

The court clarified that a state government can exercise its legislative powers only to provide reservation to the classes or categories of SC/ST that are enumerated in the Presidential Order for a particular state or Union Territory, within the geographical area of that state and not beyond.

If in the opinion of a state, the bench said, it is necessary to extend the benefit of reservation to a class or category of SC/ST beyond those specified in the lists for that particular state, constitutional discipline would require the state to make its views in the matter prevail with the central authority so as to enable an appropriate parliamentary exercise to be made by an amendment

"Unilateral action by states on the touchstone of Article 16(4) of the Constitution could be a possible trigger point of constitutional anarchy and therefore must be held to be impermissible under the Constitution," underlined the top court.

The bench was dealing with a clutch of matters relating to reservation of SC/ST upon migration from other states to NCT of Delhi.
| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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