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Kerala High Court Directs State Government To Notify Forward Community List For EWS Reservation

Lydia Suzanne Thomas
26 March 2021 5:24 AM GMT
Kerala High Court Directs State Government To Notify Forward Community List For EWS Reservation
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“The Model Code of Conduct need not restrain the Government from publishing the same”, the Court said.

The Kerala High Court has directed the State Government to notify the list of non-reserved communities eligible for reservation for Economically Weaker Section within a period of one month. A Bench of Justice N Nagaresh was hearing a petition moved by the Nair Service Society (NSS) assailing the non-publication of the list. At a previous hearing, Counsel for NSS, Advocate RT...

The Kerala High Court has directed the State Government to notify the list of non-reserved communities eligible for reservation for Economically Weaker Section within a period of one month.

A Bench of Justice N Nagaresh was hearing a petition moved by the Nair Service Society (NSS) assailing the non-publication of the list.

At a previous hearing, Counsel for NSS, Advocate RT Pradeep, submitted that despite the list having been finalized as early as February last year and having received the assent of the legislature, the same has not yet been notified.

"Availing of EWS reservation is affected badly by the non-publication of the list", the Counsel contended.

Continuing, the Counsel stated,

"Reservation now provided (recognition of reservation for EWS by the government) is not coming to the benefit of the EWS because of the lethargy in implementing ..."

On that occasion, Justice Nagaresh questioned the state on why the list remained unpublished. The Judge added that he had called upon the state to furnish reasons as to the non-publication on an earlier occasion as well.

At the hearing this week, the Court noted that after Articles 15(6) and 16(6) were inserted, contemplating 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in education and public service, Government of Kerala constituted the Kerala State Commission for Forward Communities

The Commission had prepared a report which had been accepted by the government, the Court recorded in its Order, after hearing the submissions of the government pleader.

"However the Government has not yet notified the list of forward communities," Justice Nagaresh observed.

Holding that the delay in publication of the list would "naturally cause prejudice to the communities which are included in the list", the Court directed the publication of the list.

The Government Pleader had sought time till after the expiry of the Model Code of Conduct to give final approval to the list. The Model Code of Conduct is presently in operation in the state, on account of the upcoming Kerala Legislative Assembly elections.

The Court rejected this submission, finding that the report on forward communities and the list prepared had been approved by the government even before the moel code of conduct came into force.

Finding that the publication of the list was a discharge of statutory obligations and that the failure to publish the list would affect the communities eligible for reservation.

"The Model Code of Conduct need not restrain the Government from publishing the same", the Court said.

Accordingly, the Court gave the state a months' time to notify the list.

Click here to download the judgment 



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