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19th January 2024 (12 Topics)

Karnataka Cabinet Advocates Constitutional Amendment for Internal Reservation Among SC Communities

Context

Karnataka Cabinet has recommended that the Centre amend the Constitution by inserting Article 341 (3). This proposed amendment would empower states to implement internal reservation policies among Scheduled Castes (SCs).

Background

  • The genesis of this recommendation traces back to the State Assembly election in 2023 when the Ruling party pledged to present the J. Sadashiva Commission report on internal reservation.
  • This report, submitted in 2012, had been closed by the then government during its final days in power, which instead proposed internal reservation under four distinct categories.

Need for Constitutional Amendment:

  • The then government's decision to close the commission report and endorse internal reservation under specific categories, including SC (Left), SC (Right), touchables (Banjara, Bhovi, Korcha, Korma, and others), and others, prompted the new government to seek a constitutional amendment.
  • Social Welfare Minister emphasized the necessity of Article 341 (3) for states to make adjustments to the reservation matrix, citing the supremacy of Parliament.

Legal Framework:

  • The minister referred to a Madras High Court order stating that there can be "no quota within a quota" and highlighted a legal battle in Punjab, where a seven-judge Bench is deliberating on a similar issue.
  • The decision aligns with the understanding that states cannot act independently without a constitutional amendment.
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