SC/ST quota in one state not applicable in another
Clearing the air on the reservation policy to be followed by states and union territories, the Supreme Court on Thursday held that a person belonging to the Scheduled Caste or the Scheduled Tribe community in one state would not be entitled to benefits and concessions in other states where their castes or tribes are not notified.
A five-judge Constitution bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, in its 4-1 majority verdict, held that a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe person would not be entitled to benefits in matters of employment and education in other states where they have migrated.
The question before the Supreme Court was “whether a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste in relation to a particular State would be entitled or not, to the benefits or concessions allowed to Scheduled Caste candidate in the matter of employment, in any other State.”
The court held that in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, the pan-India reservation rule will apply. “In so far as the National Capital Territory of Delhi is concerned, the pan India Reservation Rule in force is in accord with the constitutional scheme relating to services under the Union and the States/Union Territories.”
The court said: “The issue has to be viewed from another perspective. If a member of a SC/ ST of Andhra Pradesh who had migrated to Maharashtra is to be given the benefit of reservation, it will amount to depriving a member of a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe of Maharashtra by reducing the reservation earmarked for them.”
“If the special privileges or the rights granted to Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes in a particular State are to be made available in all the States and if such benefits are to be carried from State ‘A’ to State ‘B’ on migration, the mandate of the Constitution would get compromised,” reads the judgment.
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