The Supreme Court had ruled that after the insertion of Article 342A within the Constitution through the 102nd Amendment, it's the Central govt alone that's empowered to spot Socially and Economically Backward Class.
The centre filed a review petition before the SC challenging interpretation of the 102nd Constitutional Amendment within the Maratha reservation judgment
The Supreme Court had ruled that after the insertion of Article 342A within the Constitution through the 102nd Amendment, it's the Central government alone which is empowered to spot Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) and include them in the listing to be published under Article 342A (1), specifying SEBCs in regard to each State and Union Territory
The States can only make suggestions to the President of the Commission under Article 338B, for inclusion, exclusion, or modification of castes or communities, within the list to be published under Article 342A (1), the Court had ruled.
“By the introduction of Articles 366 (26C) and 342A through the 102nd Constitution of India, the President alone, is empowered to spot SEBCs and include them during an inventory to be published under Article 342A (1), shall be inclusive of SEBCs in regard to each state and union territory for the needs of the Constitution,” the Court had held.
Except for the identification of SEBCs. the States’ power to form reservations, in favor of particular communities or castes, the quantum of reservations, the character of advantages and therefore the quiet reservations, and everyone other matters falling within the ambit of Articles 15 and 16 will, however, remain undisturbed, the Court clarified.
The Constitution Bench of Justices A Bhushan, L N Rao, S A Nazeer, H Gupta, and SR Bhat by 3:2 majority observed the following judgment.
The majority judgment came despite the Central government through Attorney General KK Venugopal arguing that the 102nd amendment doesn't deduct States' powers to spot SEBCs.
This crucial ruling came as a neighborhood of the judgment of the topmost court striking down the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 which extended reservation to the Maratha community public education and employment.
Article 342A reads as follows:
(1) with reference to any State or Union territory the president may, and where it's a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the socially and educationally backward classes which shall for the needs of this Constitution be deemed to be socially and educationally backward classes in reference to that State or Union territory, because the case could also be.
(2) Parliament may by law include in or exclude from the Central List of socially and educationally backward classes laid call at a notification issued under clause (1) any socially and educationally backward class, but said notification to be counted with subsequent notification.”