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Review petition filed against Supreme Court judgment quashing 100% reservation in teaching posts for Scheduled Tribes in AP scheduled areas

The review petition states that the judgment passed by a five-Judge Constitution Bench in Chebrolu Leela Prasad Rao & Ors. v. State of AP & Ors will “curtail the rights of tribal communities and other minorities".

Shruti Mahajan

A review petition has been filed against the Supreme Court's judgment passed in April this year, by which it had set aside the 100% reservation that was being granted for Scheduled Tribes in scheduled areas for posts of teachers in Andhra Pradesh.

Filed by various organizations and activists, the review petition expresses the apprehension that the judgment passed by a five-Judge Constitution Bench in Chebrolu Leela Prasad Rao & Ors. v. State of AP & Ors will “curtail the rights of tribal communities and other minorities for adequate and appropriate representation in their own community settings”.

In its April 22 judgment, the Constitution Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah, and Aniruddha Bose quashed a government order passed for the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh in the year 2000 which provided for this 100% reservation.

This reservation for members of the Scheduled Tribe community was only for teaching positions in schools located in scheduled areas.

The Court said that providing 100% reservation is "not permissible under the Constitution of India" and specified that the outer limit for reservations as laid down in the Indra Sawhney judgment stands at 50%. The Court also added that the notification issued by the state government was violative of Articles 14 and 16(4) of the Constitution.

The review petition states says that the judgment suffers from various erroneous interpretations of the provisions of the Constitution of India, therefore, entitled to be reviewed.

The plea also addresses the cap of 50% on reservation envisioned in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India. The 100% reservation in pre-bifurcation Andhra Pradesh was provided for by way of a government order and with respect to the same, the review petition states,

“As laid down in Indra Sawhney (supra), reservation contemplated by Article 16(4) can be provided not only by Parliament/Legislature but also by local bodies and other authorities. Hence the Governor's power to provide for reservation cannot be questioned by the Hon'ble Court, especially as the law laid down in Indra Sawhney has been upheld and not been set aside.”

The decision to quash this government order, the plea argues, has caused harm to the Scheduled Tribes and has demonstrated “complete apathy and lack of concern” on the part of the Court.

On the aspect of creamy layer noted in the judgment, the plea states,

"The concept of creamy layer within the Scheduled Tribes/Castes does not exist as there is always a glass ceiling which a person from a Scheduled Caste/Tribe cannot break, which is evident from the fact that persons from a Scheduled caste/tribe face discrimination at the time of promotions in government posts."

“The judgment will only help create more inequality and promote acts of the privileged to further suppress the already suppressed Schedule Tribes in the Scheduled Areas…The judgment in effect reflects the Manuwadi mindset of the so called upper castes towards the socially disadvantaged, that they must be kept suppressed.”
Review petition filed in Supreme Court

While further highlighting the issues and discrimination faced by the members of socially backward classes, the petitioners have called for a review of the Supreme Court’s judgment.

The petition is drawn and settled by Advocate Mehmood Pracha and filed by Advocate Bharathi Upadhaya.

Read Petition:

Review petition against judgment quashing 100% reservation for STs in SCheduled areas of AP, Telangana (1).pdf
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