Chhattisgarh Cabinet approves 32% reservation for STs 

Bill will be presented in the special session of the assembly session on December 1 and 2


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Chhattisgarh Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, gave a go ahead to the new quota of reservation for Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Caste and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the state.

The cabinet decided to give 32% reservation to ST as per their population ratio, 13% to SC and 27% reservation to the largest community OBC. At the same time, 4% reservation will be given to the poor of the general category. For this, the cabinet has approved the draft of changes in two bills.

Agriculture and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ravindra Choubey said that the state government is serious about the situation that has arisen in the reservation case after the decision of the High Court. 

It has been decided that the provisions of the Reservation Act, which have been cancelled by the High Court, should be made effective again through law. For this, the draft of Reservation Amendment Bill-2022 in Public Services and Admission in Educational Institutions-2022 has been approved. These bills will be presented in the special session of the proposed assembly on December 1 and 2.

The Minister said, “The government is repeatedly saying that the government is committed to 32% ST reservation. At the same time, the Supreme Court has also justified giving up to 10%  reservation to the poor of the general category.” 

Highly placed sources in the government said it is 32% for ST, 13% for SC, 27% for OBC and general 4% fixed for the poor of the class-EWS.

It is being said that the government is considering passing a resolution along with this bill. In this, the Central Government will be urged to include the reservation law of Chhattisgarh in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution. Tamil Nadu had sent such a proposal. Karnataka is also doing the same. A senior official said, the inclusion of the Act in the Ninth Schedule has the effect that it cannot be challenged in any court. At present, this is the only way in which reservation can be kept undisputed.

In the reservation case, the Bilaspur High Court raised questions on the rationale and basis of increasing the ratio. The government says that it wanted to present the report of the SerjiusMinjCommittee and the Nankiram KanwarCommittee formed in 2012 in the court, but the court did not allow it on technical grounds. The government had just sent a study team of public representatives and officers to study the reservation model of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Its report was also kept in the cabinet. On the other hand, the Quantifiable Data Commission had given the report after completing the work of survey of other backward classes and general category poor in the population of the state.

Choubey said, these figures and facts have also been made the basis for reservation.

Till 2012, the Scheduled Castes were getting 16% reservation in the state. After the change in 2012, it was reduced to 12%. Guru GhasidasSahitya Evam Sanskriti Akademi had moved the High Court to protest against this, but it put its full emphasis on proving the 32% reservation given to the tribal community as unconstitutional. Now the entire reservation roster has been abolished by the order of the High Court. In such a situation, if the government makes 13% reservation in proportion to the population, then the displeasure of the Scheduled Castes may have to be faced. If it is 16%, the government’s argument of giving reservation in proportion to the population will be rejected.

Constitutional affairs expert B K Manish said, the Bilaspur High Court on September 19 termed 12% and 32% reservation for SC and ST illegal on the ground that reservation cannot be given in proportion to the population. It has also said that mere inadequacy of representation, without any other special circumstances, cannot exceed the limit of 50% reservation.

The High Court has said that not being able to get a place in the competition for employment or education as compared to the general category is not a special circumstance. In both these remarks, the government has declared the performance-presence of SC-ST in PSC, medical, engineering, government services and figures like per capita income, occupation of the head of the family, unnecessary and insufficient.

The Supreme Court has continuously said the same things since 1961 against population proportional representation. It has been told many times that reservation should be given according to the circumstances only after checking the extent or nature of exclusion and making welfare schemes accordingly.

Manish said, until the Supreme Court does not remove these remarks of the September 19 decision, the way to give reservation is closed. Legislature can change a decision of the court only by removing its basis and not in any other way. Even if the government gives reservation by bringing a bill, the court will stop it.

In Chhattisgarh, the government had changed the ratio of 2012 reservation. In this, the reservation of Scheduled Tribes was increased from 20% to 32%. At the same time, the reservation of Scheduled Castes was reduced from 16% to 12%. This was challenged by the Guru Ghasidas Sahitya Evam SanskritiAkademi in the High Court. Later many more petitions were filed.

On September 19, the Chhattisgarh High Courtcancelled the section of the reservation acts of the state, in which the ratio of reservation has been mentioned. Due to this, the system of reservation came in trouble. The result of recruitment examinations has been withheld. Exams were postponed.

In the counseling for admission in education institutions, the government tried to restore the system before 2012 by issuing a makeshift roster. Meanwhile, five people from the tribal society reached the Supreme Court. The state government has also appealed against this decision. A study team has also been sent to study the reservation system of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. On November 10, a notification was issued to call a special session of the VidhanSabha.

Divya Dubey

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