ST reservation quota – bone of contention for political parties with tribes agitating for restoration of 32% reservation


Reservation quota of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes has become a bone of contention for all political parties in Chhattisgarh with ST communities, who represent 32% of the total population in the state, agitating for the restoration of the 32% reservation for them after a High Court order in September this year led to the reduction of the reservation to 20%. 

According information gathered from the General Administration Department of the state government under Right to Information, it was revealed that that after the decision of the High Court on September 19, there is no question of any reservation rule or roster being active in the state.

A person from Korba had asked the GAD that which reservation rule or roster is active in the state till September 30. In response to that, the GAD sent a reply on  November 4. In a reply sent under the RTI, the GAD said, “The Bilaspur High Court issued an order on September 19 and called the notification issued by the General Administration Department in November 2012 as unconstitutional. In it, provision of 32% reservation for Scheduled Tribes, 12% for Scheduled Castes and 14% for Other Backward Classes is there. The state government is filing a special leave petition against it in the Supreme Court. Therefore, the question of activation of reservation rule or roster does not arise in the present situation.”

It has become clear from this answer that till the order of the High Court is stayed by the Supreme Court, no reservation will be given to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes or Backward Classes in the state. However, Dr Kamalpreet Singh, Secretary, General Administration Department, said legal opinion is being taken from the Advocate General of the state in this matter.

On September 19, the High Court gave its verdict on the petition of Guru Ghasidas Literature and Culture Academy. Since then the politics of the entire state got heated. An attempt was made to tell it in such a way that the tribal reservation, which was increased in 2012 by the decision of the High Court, has come down from 32% to 20%. SC reservation has increased from 12% to 16% and OBC reservation is 14%. The tribal society got agitated about this. The opposition has also opened a march against the government. The government is repeatedly saying that it will not allow the tribal reservation to be reduced. Through this, an attempt was being made to show that reservation has affected only the tribal society.

Admission in medical colleges 

Due to the confusion spread in various departments of the government, the ongoing admission process in medical colleges has become controversial. Director Medical Education released a new reservation roster for admission on  October 9. In this, there was a provision of 20% reservation for Scheduled Tribes, 16% for Scheduled Castes, 14% for Other Backward Classes and 10% for the poor of the general category. The government calls a session of the assembly on December 1-2.

Special leave petition in SC

The Chhattisgarh government has filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the High Court’s decision on October 21, a month after the verdict. In this petition, a stay has been sought for the time being on the implementation of the order of the High Court. So far, even the admissibility of this petition has not been heard. Meanwhile, the notification for the special session of the Vidhan Sabha has been issued. This session will be held on December 1-2. In this, the government will try to restore the system of reservation by bringing an amendment bill. Governor AnusuiyaUike had also written a letter for this session.

Just two months ago, the Division Bench of the High Court in its important decision declared 58% reservation in engineering and medical colleges of the state as unconstitutional. Accepting the arguments of the petitioners, a bench of Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice P P Sahoo said that in any case the reservation should not be more than 50%. 

In the year 2012, while amending the reservation rules, the state government reduced the reservation percentage of Scheduled Castes by four percent from 16 to 12 percent. At the same time, the reservation for Scheduled Tribes was increased from 20 to 32 percent. Along with this, the reservation for Other Backward Classes was kept unchanged at 14 percent. A PIL was filed in the High Court regarding the 12 percent increase in the reservation percentage of the Scheduled Castes and the reduction of four percent in the reservation of the Scheduled Castes.

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