“A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday observed that there can be sub-classifications within scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs) for granting them reservations; it disagreed with another Supreme Court verdict on the subject delivered in 2005”, a Livemint report said.
The court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra was quoted saying in Livemint, “We cannot revisit E.V. Chinnaiah being Bench of coordinate strength. We request the Hon’ble Chief Justice to place the matters before a Bench comprising of 7 Judges or more as considered appropriate, and added, “Since state governments have powers to make reservations, they also have the powers to make further sub-classifications in the reservation list”.
Justice Mishra also said, “In a federal structure, the state government cannot be denied the power to make laws to give preferential treatment to sub-categories within the reservation list.”
The report said, a judgment that was delivered in the EV Chinnaiah vs the State of Andhra Pradesh case of 2005, held that it was “unconstitutional for state legislatures to create sub categories of SCs and STs”.
“Today’s hearing was passed pleas against a Punjab and Haryana High court verdict which, while holding the provision to be unconstitutional, had struck down section 4(5) of the Punjab Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes (Reservation in Services) Act of 2006. This section of the law had created a preference in favour of Balmiki and Mazhbi Sikhs from the 50% quota already reserved for the SC communities in case of direct recruitments”, the report added.