Vanniyar quota: Supreme Court adjourns TAMIL NADU appeal against Madras HC order

The Supreme Court has deferred an appeal against a Madras High Court ruling that; annulled 10.5 % special internal reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for Vanniyars, a most backward community (MBC), and their sub-castes.

The matter adjourned for tomorrow by a bench comprises of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai.

In February the Vanniyar Reservation Act  passed by the AIADMK government; just an hours before the model code of conduct for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections in April 2021 went into force. After the DMK government took office, it was quickly put into effect. Out of the 20 percent allotted for MBCs, the Act allocates 10.5% to Vanniyars..

Since 1980, the state of Tamil Nadu has offered 50 percent quota to OBCs and an extra 18 percent to SC & STs in state government jobs. In the case of ‘Indra Sawhney vs Union of India’, the Supreme Court supported; the quota and ordered both the Central and State Governments to establish a permanent commission to exclude and include the Backward Classes, with a limit of 50 percent reservation in normal cases.

To safeguard the existing 69 percent quota, the Tamil Nadu government passed the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and Appointments or Posts in the State Services) Act, 1993. A total of 20 percent of the 69 percent reservation  set aside for MBCs in educational institutions and for jobs.

The State of Tamil Nadu  represented by Senior Advocate P. Wilson, who claimed that the Sattanathan Commission used Census data as a starting point. We’d like to show the Sattanathan Commission’s detailed review of reservation implementation.

Advocate P. Wilson mentioned; the Amba Shankar Report, claiming that the chairman recommended a process in which; sub-classification is only permitted if a threshold of 20 percent is exceeded.

Justice Rao asked: “How can you trust such a report when seven members of the committee disagree with the Chairman? How can a commission get to a unanimous decision? How can you trust a single judge’s decision in a seven-judge panel?”.

Senior Advocate P. Wilson answered that: “My lords, the entire report was with the government, including the Chairman’s suggestions and the other members’ dissenting points.”

The Court will resume hearings tomorrow to hear the respondents’ arguments.

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