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Supreme Court Quashes Former Andhra Pradesh Govt’s 100% Reservation Order for ST Teachers in Scheduled areas

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The Supreme Court recently quashed the January 2000 Order which provided 100% reservation to ST teachers in schools located in scheduled areas. The five-judge bench held that the State Government does not have the authority to provide a 100% reservation.

While the Governments of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were defending the order, the Supreme court ruled that the reservation was illegal and discriminatory to the general as well as backward classes. The court concluded that the reservation violated Articles 14, 15(1) and 16 of the constitution while stating that merit cannot be denied by providing reservations.

Schedule V

Paragraph 5(1) of Schedule V empowers the Governor to issue a notification directing that any central or state law may not apply to a scheduled area or shall apply to the area with modifications and exemptions.

The Supreme Court ruled that the provision cannot be used to modify existing laws. The then Governor had cited this provision and failed to mention the AP Regulation of Reservation and Appointment to Public Services Act 1997, which deals with reservation in public services in the State. The laws that he did cite did not deal with reservation.

The Andhra Pradesh State and Subordinate Service Rules 1996 was also cited as a provision that allows 6% reservation to Scheduled Tribes in the State. But the bench ruled that Para 5(1) of Schedule V does not allow modification of Rules while clarifying that providing 100% reservation was akin to creating a new law and that was not provided for in Schedule V.

The Supreme Court also noted that the Government had tried to issue the order back in 1986 as well but was set aside by the Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal. The State Government issued the order again in 2000, reserving 100 per cent teacher posts in schools in scheduled areas, for ST candidates. Out of these, about 33 percent of seats were reserved for women.

The Supreme Court acknowledged the fact that the State Government had issued the order despite being set aside previously. The Court quashed the quota while agreeing to not reset the appointments made post-1986 provided that the State does not attempt to bring in similar reservations in the future.

Unconstitutionality of 100% Reservation

The Court observed that the powers of the Governor under Schedule V are subject to fundamental rights. It also noted that there were no extraordinary circumstances that suggest the need for such an order. As per Indra Sawhney v. Union of India, reservations are to be capped at 50% excluding extraordinary cases.

Article 371 D of the Constitution regarding special provisions of the State stated that employment to people in the state was limited to only their districts. The Government order to provide 100% reservation to ST violated this by not allowing other categories to apply for posts in their districts if they lived in Scheduled Areas.

The Court thus quashed the order and charged the State of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh a fee of 5 lakhs for the court of appeal is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgements from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe for 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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