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Analysing the 1st Amendment to the Constitution: Champakam Dorairajan Case

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State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan (AIR 1951 SC 226) is a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of India. This judgement led to the 1st amendment of the Constitution of India. It was the first major judgement on reservations in the Republic of India. In its decision, the Supreme Court upheld the judgement of the High Court of Madras, which, in turn, reversed the Government Order (G.O) passed in 1927 under the [Madras Presidency]. The G.O. had made caste-based reservations regarding government employment and college seats. The decision of the Supreme Court held that the provision of such reservations was in violation of Article 29(2) of the Indian Constitution.

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Facts of the Case

The Chapter of Fundamental Rights is hallowed and not subject to be shortened by any authoritative or chief act or request, but to the degree given in the suitable Article in Part III. The order standards of State strategy can’t supersede the arrangements found in Part III, yet need to adjust to and run as auxiliary to the Chapter of Fundamental Rights. Subsequently, the argument that, having regard to the provisions of Art. 46, the State is qualified to retain the Group G. O. The establishment of proportionate seats in State Colleges for different networks and, if, as a result, some individual citizens cannot receive inductions from educational associations, no violation of their fundamental rights can be continued.

Arrangement for the said Communal G. O. persists on the basis of religion, race and rank and is contrary to the Constitution and constitutes a deviation from the fundamental rights granted to the resident under Art. 29. (2). However, in so far as there is no violation of the constitutional rights as set out in Part III of the Constitution, there can be no question of a State functioning in accordance with the rules of order set out in Part IV, according to the powers of authority and the powers of leadership and limitations imposed on the State in accordance with the various provisions of the Constitution.

With regard to the confirmation of the undergraduate course of the Engineering and Medical Colleges of the State, the Province of Madras demanded (known as the Communal G.O.) that the seats should be carefully filled by the Preference Advisory Group at the accompanying premises, i.e. that 6 out of every 14 seats should be handed over to Non-Brahmin (Hindus), 2 to Backward Hindus, 2 to Brahmins, 2 to Harijans. 1 to the Anglo-Indian and Indian Christians and 1 to the Muslims.

On the 7-6-1950s, Smt. Champakam Dorairajan has applied to the HC. Of Judiciary at Madras pursuant to Art. 226 of the Constitution for the insurance of its fundamental rights pursuant to Art.15(1) and Art.29(2) of the Constitution and requested to issue a writ of mandamus or other fair privilege writ controlling the State of Madras and all its officials and subordinates from carrying out, notifying, retaining or requiring the requisition, or inquire again, for the most part, referred to the G. O. Communal in and by which inductions to the Madras Medical Colleges have been pursued or suspected to be guided in such a way as to intrude and include the infringement of her basic rights.

From the testimony recorded on the side of the petitioner it doesn’t create the impression that the petitioner had really applied for affirmation in the Medical College. She expressed that on request she came to realize that she would not be admitted to the College as she had a place with the Brahmin people group. No protest, notwithstanding, was taken to the practicality of her petition on the ground of nonappearance of any real apply for affirmation made by her.

Petitioner’s Arguments

The learned Advocate-General appearing for the State contended that the terms of this Article must be read in accordance with other articles of the Constitution. It urged that the State, under Article 46, to promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the poorest sections of the population, and in particular the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and to protect them from social inequality and all forms of exploitation.

It was pointed out that although this Article finds its position in Part IV of the Constitution, which lays down certain principles of State policy as laid down in the Directive Principles , and although the provisions found in that Part are not enforceable by any court, the principles laid down therein are still central to the governance of the country and Article 37 obliges the State to apply them.

The point is that, having regard to the provisions of Article 46, the State is entitled to preserve the Group G.O. Setting up proportionate seats for various populations, and if, as a result of that order, which is also believed to be legally binding and not in breach of the Constitution, petitioners are unable to receive admissions to educational institutions, there is no infringement of their fundamental rights.

Indeed, the learned Advocate-General of Madras contends that the provisions of Article 46 outweigh the provisions of Article 29. (2). The State policy principles of the Directive, which are specifically rendered inapplicable by the Court by Article 37, cannot supersede the provisions of Part III which, notwithstanding other provisions, are expressly made enforceable by the relevant Writings, Orders or Directives referred to in Article 32.

The chapter on fundamental rights is sacrosanct and is not subject to any legislative or executive act or order, except to the degree provided for in the related article in Part III. The principles of State policy of the Directive must be complied with and applied as a subsidiary to the chapter on fundamental rights. The right manner in which the rules laid down in Sections III and IV have to be interpreted. However, as long as there is no violation of any fundamental right to the degree conferred by the provisions of Part III, there can be no opposition to a State acting in compliance with the principles of the Directive laid down in Part IV, yet again subject to the legislative and executive powers and limits conferred on the State by the various provisions of the Constitution.

Respondent’s Arguments

The provision and the law referred to in Article 29[7] do not mean that it overrides the requirements of Article 16(4)[8] and thereby shows that a stronger and constructive decision would be made on the basis of their reservation in the educational institutions. Reservation for the undeserved class is purely important since it creates an equitable state for the undeserved class in the state. The respondent’s view for the same is that it is strictly important for people who are not accepted in the state to accept the matter and to ensure that they have equal involvement in the education system.


J. S. R. Das in this judgement concerned both the case of State of Madras v. Srimathi Champakam Dorairajan and State of Madras v. C. R. Srinivasan which were appeals from the judgement of the H. C. Madras Judiciary on 27-7-1950, on two different application pursuant to Art. 226 of the Constitution, there is an allegation of violation of the fundamental right of admission to educational institutions maintained by the State.

The State of Madras maintains four medical colleges and there are only 330 seats available for students in these four colleges. Out of these 330 seats, 17 are reserved for students coming from outside the State and 12 are reserved for discretionary allocation by the State and the balance of seats available is split between four different classes of districts in the State.

In the same way, the State of Madras maintains four Engineering Colleges and the total number of seats available to students in those Colleges is only 395. Of these, 21 seats are reserved for students from outside the State, 12 are reserved for discretionary allocation by the State, and the remainder of seats available is split between the same four different classes of districts.

For several years before the beginning of the Constitution, the seats in both the Medical Colleges and the Engineering Colleges were so divided between the four different classes of districts used to be filled according to certain proportions set out in what used to be known as the G.O. Communal. Hence, for every 14 seats to be filled by the selection committee, the candidates used to be selected on the following basis-

  • Non-Brahmins (Hindus) -6
  • Backwards Hindus- 2
  • Brahmins- 2
  • Harijans- 2
  • The Anglo-Indian and Indian Christians.1
  • Muslim- 1

Subject to the aforementioned regional provisions, and to what has been stated to be security provisions, the selection of candidates from a specific community from one of the district groups used to be made on the basis of certain principles based on academic qualifications and the marks earned by the candidates. Not less than 20% in the case of medical schools. Of the total number of seats available to State students, women candidates were chosen separately for each region, and the selection committee would be free to admit a greater number of female candidates in any region if suitable candidates were available in that region and if they were eligible for merit selection vis-à-vis male candidates in accordance with the general principles. It tends to be the proportion set in the old G.O. Communal.

It was adhered to even after the Constitution began on 26-1-1950. Indeed, G. O. No. 2208, dated 6-6-1950, laying down rules for the selection of candidates for admission to medical colleges, effectively reproduces the communal proportion set in the old Communal G. O. Sri Srinivasan, who had actually applied for the entrance into the government. Designing College, Guindy, registered a petition. Referring to God for a mandamus writ or some other writ governing the State of Madras from the execution, notice, preservation or follow-up of the Communal G. O. In and by which the admission to the Engineering College was supposed to be directed in such a way as to infringe and involve the infringement of the main right of the petitioner.

Pursuant to Art. 15(1) and Art. 29(2) of the Constitution, the affidavit reported on the side of his petition. It offered the impression that, in the discretionary, the petitioner is contemplated in the decision of the scholarly examination for confirmation at the Engineering College. Srinivasan made about 369 stamps out of a limit of 450 stamps. This is the H. C. This application has been allowed by a similar decision. In addition, the State has registered an allure numbered 271 of 1951. The scholarly course of the State of Madras resigned that these two candidates would have been admitted to the educational institutions that they proposed to join, and that they would not have been refused confirmation if the choice had been made on the merits alone. is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgments from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe to our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

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