Supreme Court refuses to stay 10.5% Vanniyar quota


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay a law passed by the State government in February 2021 granting 10.5 per cent quota to Vanniyar community among the Most Backward Classes (MBC). However, a notice has been issued to the State in this regard.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat tagged the present plea with other similar petitions challenging the 2021 Act, which are pending in the top court as well as in the Madras High Court. The petition submits that the impugned Act is unconstitutional and violative of Article 340 of the Constitution of India on the ground that reservation is permissible only to classes and not to a particular caste.

The plea stated that the Act was passed while Model Code of Conduct was in play only to meet demand of Vanniya Kula Kshatriyas without the presence of any quantifiable data. Due to this, a Special Commission was appointed for collection of quantifiable data on caste, communities and tribes with Justice A Kulasekaran (Retd.) as Chairman.

However, the plea submits, the Committee is yet to submit any report and in undue haste, the respondents announced that the Vanniya Kula Kshatriyas would be given 10.5 per cent reservation. The petition also questioned the timing of bringing the law. The then AIADMK government introduced the 2021 Bill on February 26 and passed it hours before the Election Commission announced schedule for Assembly polls.

Stating that the impugned Act is contrary to the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of seats in Educational Institutions and of appointments or posts in Services under the State) Act, 1993, read with Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Private Educational Institutions) Act, 2006, the plea underlines that sub-classification within Most Backward Class is against the well settled law laid down by the SC in various decisions.

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