The Supreme Court had on February 8 ruled that "there is no fundamental right to claim quota in reservations.”

25 people detained in Hyderabad for protesting against SC judgment on reservationsA woman protester against Supreme Court verdict gets detained
news Protest Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 19:05

Twenty five people from Hyderabad who took part in the Sunday Bharat Bandh called by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekar Azad were taken into preventive detention by the Hyderabad police. The Bharat Bandh was called as a protest against the Supreme Court judgment that said state governments are not bound to make reservations for people who belong to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government jobs. 

All the 25 protestors consisting mostly of women were gathered at Mehdipatnam, but were briskly swept away by the police who were already present at the venue. One of the protestors, Sheeba Minai, told TNM, “There were more police deployed than there were protestors at the venue.” All those detained were taken to Goshamahal grounds and later let off. “We have been detained for protesting along with the Bhim army. Our protest is against the taking away of the reservation by the Union government, this government is bringing in a lot of arbitrary rules and we are trying to protest against the government,” she added.

The Supreme Court was hearing cases related to the BJP-led Uttarakhand government's September 5, 2012 government notification deciding to fill up all posts in public services in the state without providing reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The matter went to the High Court and eventually the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had on February 8 ruled that "there is no fundamental right to claim quota in reservations.”

 

 

A bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said, "In view of the law laid down by this court, there is no doubt that the state government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions.”

The bench said in its verdict, "No mandamus can be issued by the court directing the state government to provide reservations.”

The verdict raised eyebrows among activists and those in civil society. On February 11, a review petition was also filed by Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad seeking a reversal of the verdict. 

Many pointed to how the SC verdict is at odds with what is stated in the Indian Constitution. Article 16 (1) states that there shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. Article 14 (4) of the Constitution states that nothing in this article shall prevent the state from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens.

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