Still a tough nut to crack: Reservation

Equality is one of the fundamental principles on which our noble constitution is based. The founders of our constitution included provisions for the empowerment of the socially and economically weak backward classes. Since equality is one of the main principles enshrined in our constitution, our constitution-makers have incorporated different provisions for the weaker sections of our society for their empowerment.

The Constitution of India empowers the State to make special provisions on the reservation of appointment to the post in favor of any backward class of citizens who, in the opinion of the State, are not sufficiently represented. In essence, therefore, the constitution is mainly aimed at empowering sections of society below, that is,

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe

Other backwards class

Some provisions of our Constitution concerning the SC/ST reservation are as follows:

  • Article 15(4) and Article 16(4) of the Constitution made it possible for the State and the Central Governments to reserve seats in government services for SC and ST members.

  • Article 330 and Article 332 provide for specific representation on the basis of the reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the Parliament and the National Legislative Assembly.

  • Article 243D provides for the reservation of SC and ST seats in each Panchayat.

  • Article 243T provides for the reservation of SC and ST seats in each municipality.

  • 243D shall reserve a seat in Panchayat for SC/ST

  • Article 335 of the Constitution provides that the claims of the STs and the STs shall be taken into consideration with regard to the maintenance of the efficacy of the administration.

  • Part XVI

In all these provisions, our constitutional makers have ensured that nothing in these provisions is vague or ambiguous. These provisions are used to protect and empower people who belong to a particular caste and have therefore suffered a setback in education, social and economic terms due to the age-old caste system prevailing in India. Thus, by putting people who are considered to be a lower caste and thus denied many social achievements, they are now included in the scope of Scheduled Caste, they are able to receive many benefits, both socially and educationally.

But constitutional makers have never explicitly tried to bring the Other Backward Class into the caste system. It is clear from the constitution that, unlike other legislations, each and every term in the constitution is free from ambiguity and constitutional makers pay particular attention to using each and every term with the utmost caution in order to avoid ambiguity and vagueness. So the term "other backward class" needs special attention, as we must not defeat the very intent of the creators of our constitution.

Article 340 addresses the need, inter alia, to identify those "socially and educationally backward classes," to understand the conditions of their backwardness, and to make recommendations for the removal of the difficulties they face. Pursuant to Article 340, the There are still children in our country who are unable to study because of their economic backwardness, children who are still suffering from malnutrition, born to parents whom we call this unreserved, economically, and a socially advanced class of citizens.

Economic back President may set up a commission to examine the status of socially and educationally backward classes. This section also refers to the "backward class and not backward caste" so that it must be critically analyzed by our judiciary in order to do justice to the people of India and also to achieve what the constitutional makers intended. Article 340 is also incorporated in order to provide adequate support for the backward class, which is once forwarded by the identification of the real backward class by a commission established by our Honourable President of India, and to avoid taking advantage of the section by a particular class only for many years or even centuries. In order to avoid this injustice, Article 340 of our Constitution must be used to identify the conditions of the backward class in our country and not the backward caste.

ward in an unreserved caste:

The recent move by Mr. Narendra Modi led the BJP government to reserve the economic backward section of the upper caste is the hour's need. We must not forget what equality is and what our constitutional makers intend to do. If we ignore the weaker section of the upper caste, it will gradually become more and more backward in education, social and economic terms. This is not the dream of our constitutional creators.

The eligibility criteria for the purpose of reserving the economically backward class of the forward community are set out below:

  • Person not covered by the reservation scheme for SCs, STs, and OBCs and whose family has a gross annual income below Rs 8 lakh (Rupees 8 lakh only) are to be identified as EWSs for the benefit of the reservation. Income shall also include income from all sources, i.e. wages, agriculture, business, occupation, etc., for the financial year preceding the year of application.

  • Persons whose family owns any of the following assets, irrespective of family income, shall also be excluded from being identified as an EWS:

  1. Five acres of agricultural land and above;

  2. Residential at 1000 sq ft. and above;

  3. Residential plot of 100 square meters. Yards and above in the municipalities notified;

  4. Residential, 200 sq. plot. Yards and above in areas other than the municipalities that have been notified.

  • Property held by the "Family" in different locations or in different cities would be clubbed while applying the land. Or the property holding test to determine the status of EWS.

  • For this purpose, the term "family" shall include the person seeking the benefit of the reservation, his or her parents and siblings under the age of 18, as well as his or her spouse and children under the age of 18.

The criteria that must be met in order to make a reservation for economically backward people in the forward communities are quite strong enough to bypass economically sound people from misusing that provision. It must therefore be implemented throughout India to empower the weaker section of the upper caste.

We should consider this in the light of the fact that many people who are economically very sound and in all aspects who are in good condition still benefit from the reservation only because they are born in a particular caste or community. These communities are no longer economically backward, there may be a section in these communities that is backward, but the situation is the same as in the upper caste. Is that equality guaranteed in our constitution?

Therefore, either this caste-based reservation must be completely abolished or more reservations must be made to economically backward people belonging to castes who have no reservations about it.

The subject of the reservation is incomplete without mentioning the question of Indra Sawhney V Union of India, in which case the question arises as to what would be the content of the phrase "Backward Class" in Article 16(4) of the Constitution and whether caste itself could constitute a class. Unfortunately, however, the 9 Judge Bench rules that 'the back class of citizens referred to in Article 16(4) may be identified on the basis of the caste system and not only on an economic basis.' With due respect to the judgment handed down by our Honourable Supreme Court of India in the case of Indra Sawhney, it is necessary for society to change its view of the changing needs of society. As we always say, the Constitution is a dynamic legislation that changes with the changing needs of society, and our Constitution cannot be static.

The Constitution makes it clear that equals must be treated equally but not unequally. Why are people who are in good economic conditions are receiving the benefits of reservation only on the basis of their caste, so it is time to critically analyze the phrase "other backward class" in the Indian constitution by the judicial system.

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