A former governor of Rajasthan and former Chief Justice of the state’s high court on Monday described as "illegal and unconstitutional" the recent announcement by the Vasundhara Raje government granting five per cent reservation to the Gujjar community and 14 per cent to the poor among the upper castes.
The views of former governor Navrang Tibrewal and former chief justice Surendera Nath Bhargava were shared by two former high court judges and a former vice chancellor of Rajasthan University. They told newspersons the Constitution has two categories of reservation for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes and a third category cannot be carved out by the state government to provide reservation to any caste.
“Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's announcement about reservations is against the spirit and provisions of the Constitution. The decision has been taken under tremendous pressure from demonstrators who had brought the entire state to a standstill,” they said.
“The Supreme Court has made amply clear that reservations cannot cross the 50 per cent mark. This makes the chief minister's declaration hollow and baseless. It will not stand up to the scrutiny of the law,” the former judges said.
They felt Gujjars will not get reservation in the Lok Sabha and state assembly though educationally and socially backward communities can be given reservation in jobs under Article 16(4) of the Constitution, whereas there was no provision to provide reservation to economically weak upper caste members.
Ex-governor Tibrewal said, “The state government will have to pass a resolution in the assembly to give such reservations and send it to the Centre which cannot take any decision unless the National Commission for Scheduled Castes approves it.
The Parliament will be required to amend the Constitution to permit quotas above the 50 per cent limit under the Ninth Schedule. Then the apex court must give its consent.”