Karnataka govt to move SC, argue for need to exceed 50% quota cap

The move comes amidst pressure from various communities in Karnataka to revise the existing reservation.
CM BS Yediyurappa
CM BS Yediyurappa
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The Karnataka government on Monday decided to submit a response to the Supreme Court that social dynamics have changed and the aspirations of the younger class have increased, requiring the reservation to exceed the 50% limit set by the apex court, according to official sources. The decision was taken at a meeting of the state Cabinet held under the leadership of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

The Supreme Court is examining issues including whether the landmark 1992 judgement in Indra Sawhney case, also known as the Mandal verdict which caps quota in states at 50%, requires a re-look by a larger bench "in the light of subsequent Constitutional amendments, judgements and changing social dynamics of society." It sought responses from the states on the issue.

Sources claimed that in the submission to the apex court, the government would state three reasons for exceeding the reservation quota which includes several constitutional amendments, multiple states made amendments, and the changing social dynamics. “Aspirations of the backward class have increased," added the source.

The government's proposal to be submitted to the Supreme Court has come amidst pressure from various communities to revise the existing reservation. Karnataka at present provides 15% reservation for SCs, three percent for STs and 32% for the other backward classes (OBC), which add up to 50%.

State Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai had recently indicated in the Assembly that it was inevitable to breach the 50% cap on quota if demands of various communities were to be fulfilled.

Facing demands for revision, the government has set up a three-member high-level committee headed by a retired High Court judge to look into demands and advise the government.

The SCs have demanded an increase in their quota from 15% to 17% and the STs from three percent to 7.5%. While the backward Kuruba community is seeking ST tag, Panchamasalis, a sub-sect of the dominant Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, wants to be included in category 2A (15%) of the OBC reservation matrix. They are currently included under 3B (5%). 

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