Supreme Court strikes down 100% ST quota in scheduled areas

NEW DELHI: A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court has overruled Andhra Pradesh supreme court verdict which allowed the Telugu states to order teachers’ jobs only to those belonging to Scheduled Tribes in notified tribal areas. The court cited the judgment within the Indira Sawhney case of 1992 to reiterate that the entire reservations cannot exceed 50%. The bench led by Justice Arun Mishra also slapped costs on Andhra and Telangana for violating the SC mandated 50% ceiling. It said that the move to order 100% teaching jobs to STs was unconstitutional but allowed the decision to use only prospectively, allowing those appointed to not be affected. The SC had in its Indira Sawhney ruling capped all quotas at 50%, leaving the remaining to candidates in meritorious candidates. The cap applies to government jobs and admissions to government education institutions. The undivided state of Andhra had put aside all vacancies for STs through an order of the governor. It was challenged but upheld by the supreme court . The petitioners who approached the SC contended that such a choice not only affected the overall merit category but also other reserved categories. Some states have cited socio-educational backwardness while others fallen back on economic backwardness to exceed the cap and lots of petitions challenging such decisions are pending within the SC. This ruling may impact them, as this one indicated the court’s reasoning on the difficulty . During the hearing, Justice Mishra wondered on the necessity for reservations when the advantages didn't seem to percolate.

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