The DMK's manifesto, released on Thursday, has called for a constitutional amendment to put all laws relating to reservation quotas beyond the scope of judicial scrutiny.
A key ally of the UPA, on whose poll performance in Tamil Nadu the fate of the coalition critically depends, the DMK has found fault even with the ninth schedule of the Constitution, maintaining it did not insulate reservation related laws enough.
The first ever amendment to the Constitution in May 1951 had introduced a new para, Article 31B, laying down that laws included in the ninth schedule would not be rendered void even if they were at variance with clauses in other parts of the Constitution. This was done primarily to prevent courts from striking down various land reform laws the government was then passing.
Tamil Nadu is the only state where the reservation quota — at 69 per cent — is far above the Supreme Court prescribed limit of 50 per cent. This was made possible by including the relevant order under the ninth schedule, though a petition questioning the move pending in Supreme Court.
“Our party will insist on constitutional amendments to protect any legislation on reservation from being questioned by the courts,” said CM M Karunanidhi. “We will continue our fight against the clauses excluding the creamy layer among the backward sections from getting the benefit of reservations.
He quoted from constitutional experts to endorse his view that ‘interference by the courts’ was ‘creating hurdles’ in the implementation of socio-economic welfare schemes.