Revision Of OBC Reservation List In Kerala: Supreme Court Issues Contempt Notice To Centre, Kerala Govt & KSCBC
The Supreme Court on Friday (September 22) issued notice in a contempt petition which alleged that the Union Government, the State of Kerala and the Kerala State Commission for Backward Classes(KSCBC) have not complied with directions to conduct socio-economic study for revising the reservation list for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes in the State.A 3 judge bench of the Supreme...
The Supreme Court on Friday (September 22) issued notice in a contempt petition which alleged that the Union Government, the State of Kerala and the Kerala State Commission for Backward Classes(KSCBC) have not complied with directions to conduct socio-economic study for revising the reservation list for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes in the State.
A 3 judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices BR Gavai, Justice PS Narsimha, and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra was considering a petition filed by an organisation named "Minority Indians Planning and Vigilance Commission Trust".
The petitioner stated that on September 8, 2020, the Kerala High Court passed a direction in its petition (WP(c) 19937/2019) to the Union Government to finalize the soci-economic study report to identify SEBCs in the State and to submit the report to the KSCBC. The KSCBC on the receipt of such report was directed to make recommendations to the State. The entire process was directed to be completed within a period of six months from the date of judgment.
The Union Government challenged the High Court judgment before the Supreme Court. On June 28, 2021, the Supreme Court dismissed the Union's Special Leave Petition (SLP(c) No.4751/2021) but granted addition time of one more year to comply with the HC direction. Despite the elapse of the extended time, the directions have not been complied with, alleged the petitioner.
At the outset, Advocate Haris Beeran appearing on behalf of the petitioner submitted, “Almost 30 years have passed after the judgment in Indira Sawhney. Yet, there’s a deliberate wilful non-compliance of this judgment. The reservation list has to be revised every 10 years.”
He referred to Section 11(1) of the Kerala State Commission for Backward Classes Act, Act, 1993which states that “the Government may at any time, and shall, at the expiration of 10 years from the coming into force of this Act and every succeeding period of 10 years thereafter, undertake a revision of the list with a view to exclude from such lists those classes who have ceased to be backward classes or for including in such list new backward classes.”
The petitioner had argued before the Kerala High Court that due to non-revision of the list, the Muslim Community, SC/ST, and 70 other backward classes were grossly under-represented in the Kerala Public Services. They referred to the study conducted by Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishath and the report of Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee which authenticated that Muslim representation is abysmally low in Kerala Public Services. In this regard, the petitioner pointed out that the population of the Muslim community in the State is 26.9% but their share in Government service is only 11.4%.
Case title: Minority Indians Planning and Vigilance Commission Trust v. Union of India
Citation: CONMT.PET.(C) No. 000669 - 000670 / 2022 in Special Leave to Appeal (C) No(s). 4751-4752/2021
For petitioner: Advocate Haris Beeran, AOR Radha Shyam Jena