The Supreme Court on Wednesday, February 23, reserved its judgement on a batch of appeals against a Madras High Court order, which quashed the 10.5% reservation provided to Vanniyars, a Most Backward Community (MBC) in Tamil Nadu, in government jobs and admission to educational institutions. A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai asked the parties to file written submissions.
The apex court had earlier refused to refer the issue to a larger bench and said it has perused the judgements submitted and was of the view that the issue does not need consideration by a larger bench.
The top court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by the state of Tamil Nadu, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), and others challenging the November 1, 2021 judgment of the Madras High Court quashing the reservation provided to Vanniyars, saying it was unconstitutional.
The top court had earlier agreed to examine the pleas and said â€˜admissions or appointments already made under the said quota will not be disturbed.â€™ The apex court had further directed that no fresh appointments to state government services or admissions to educational institutions should be made till the next date of hearing in the case.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly had in February passed the then ruling AIADMK-piloted bill providing internal reservation of 10.5 per cent for Vanniyars, with the incumbent DMK government issuing an order in July 2021 for its implementation.
It had split the aggregate 20 per cent reservation for MBCs and denotified communities into three separate categories by regrouping castes and provided a ten per cent plus sub-quota for Vanniyars, formerly known as Vanniakula Kshatriyas.
"Is the state government empowered to do the internal reservation? The Constitution has given enough explanation. The legislation providing for internal reservation is cancelled," the high court had said. The high court had said the state government cannot come out with such legislation and that this had been explained in the Constitution.