High Court quashes 10.5 per cent Vanniyar quota

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Recently the Madras High Court (HC) has set aside 10.5 per cent quota for the Vanniyar community.

  • The High Court has struck down the 10.5 per cent reservation given to Vanniyar, the most backward community (MBC) in Tamil Nadu, for admission in government jobs and educational institutions, declaring it unconstitutional.
  • 69% reservation in Tamil Nadu is divided into three sections –

Backward Classes: 50% (Non-Muslim quota 26.5% for 252 castes, and 5% Muslim quota).

MBC: 20 (10.5% for Vanniyars, 7% for 68 Vimukt communities and 2.5% for other 41 castes)

SC: 18% (Arunthathiyar 3.5%) and ST 1%

Key findings of HC’s decision

  • This law violates the provisions of Articles 15, 16 and 29 of the Constitution of India, as it classified Vanniyar as a separate caste.
  • It is worth mentioning that earlier, the Supreme Court had ruled in Indra Sawhney case that caste alone cannot be the criterion for reservation.
  • The State had not taken a policy decision to revise the reservation after consultation with the National Commission for Backward Classes, as mandated by Article 338B.
  • Additionally, the sub-categorization of reservation was done without any quantitative data on the backwardness of Vanniyars within the MBC.

Conditions of reservation laid down in Indira Sawhney case-

  • Reservation to socially and educationally backward class.
  • 50% limit on vertical reservation.
  • Separation of creamy layer from backward class.
  • There should be no reservation in promotion.

Source – The Hindu

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