Supreme Court Directs Transfer of Cases Involving Reservation of EBPG Category

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The petition is a transfer petition filed under Article 139A of the Constitution. The petitioner filed this petition seeking transfer of cases pending in High Courts. Here, the notification issued by the state of Haryana is being challenged. The notification provided for a 10% vertical reservation for economically backward persons in the general category. It is argued that the said notification is contrary to the decision in Indra Sawhney case. On an identical point, the Gujarat High Court has already delivered a judgment. Now, the said judgment is in appeal before the Supreme Court.

Petitioners’ Arguments

The petitioners belong to the general category. Aggrieved by the notification, they filed a writ petition. It has been submitted in the above-mentioned special appeal that the leave has been granted. Therein, the case involved a similar question of law as the one in the present case. Hence, the petition is allowed under Article 139A of the Constitution.

Respondent’s Arguments

The state has relied on Commissioner of Service Tax v. Sri Selvaganapathy and Co., 2018 (4) SCC 578. Therein, the Court observed that merely because a similar case is pending, the cases cannot be transferred. It has been submitted that the petitioner ought to wait for the judgment in the civil appeal. Further, the petitioner has approached after 4 years of the notification. Hence, the same is barred.

Court’s View and Decision

The Court emphasized the fulfilment of two conditions under Article 139A of the Constitution. First, the substantial question of law involved in the case before the High Court must be the same as the one before this Court. Second, the question involved must be of general importance. The Court further observed that there was the promulgation of the notification after the 103rd Constitutional Amendment. By the said amendment the Court allowed 10% reservations for economically weaker sections.

The Court further referenced to L. K. Venkat v. Union of India, 2012 (5) SCC 292. Therein, the Apex Court allowed the transfer of cases. The question involved was that of the commutation of the death sentence. The Court held that the Sri Selvaganapathy and Co. case does not lay down an absolute proposition. The Court further observed that the question involved arose in two states: Haryana and Gujarat. The question involved is of general importance.

The Court directed the transfer of the cases to this Court.


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