SC quashes special quota for Vanniyars in Tamil Nadu

Wednesday 06th April 2022 06:40 EDT

New Delhi: The Supreme Court struck down the 10.5 per cent reservation provided to Vanniyars, a Most Backward Community in Tamil Nadu, in government jobs and admission to educational institutions saying there is no substantial basis for treating them differently. A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai upheld the Madras high court order which had quashed the reservation.

"We are of the opinion that there is no substantial basis for classifying Vanniakula Kshatriyas into one group to be treated differently from the remaining 115 communities within the MBC groups and, therefore, the 2021 Act is in violation of Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution. Therefore, we uphold the decision of the high court," the bench said. The top court said though caste can be the basis of internal reservation, it cannot be the sole basis.

The SC had earlier refused to refer the matter to a larger bench saying that it was of the view that the issue does not need consideration by a larger bench. "We are not inclined to the argument of referring the matter to a larger bench, you can start your arguments," the bench said.

The top court had earlier agreed to examine the pleas and said admissions or appointments already made under the said quota will not be disturbed.

The apex court's judgment came on a batch of petitions filed by the state of Tamil Nadu, Pattali Makkal Katchi, and others challenging the November 1, 2021 judgment of the high court quashing the reservation provided to Vanniyars, saying it was unconstitutional.

The high court had said the state government cannot come out with such a legislation providing reservation to Vanniyars without any quantifiable data on population.

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