“Supreme Court’s recent observations on reservations unconstitutional”

Statement by Delhi Solidarity Group

The killing of two Dalit children by the upper caste men in a Haryana village shook the nation, but also brought to the fore the continued caste dicrimnation and oppression being faced by the Dalits and Tribals after 68 years of Independence. The makers of Constitution recognised the disadvantaged position of a huge section of the society and recognised them as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and provided for due representation in democratic institutions – legislature, executive and judiciary defined as ‘State’ under the constitution through various means, including reservation in education and jobs.

Supreme Court Caste Bias

As we have progressed, various caste groups have agitated to seek their due share through seeking reservation quotas either as Other Back Class or Extremely Backward Class. We have seen violent conflicts and social unrest over this issue in past or even today. However, the recent developments and statements emanating from certain political forces and the observations of the Supreme Court as reported in the Indian Express dated 28th Oct 2015. We foresee these developments as posing serious threat to the ‘reservation’ in itself. It should be noted that initially ‘Representation’ was sought by Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar as seen during the debate around the Poona Pact. However, finally representation was substituted by reservation to address the historical injustices. This was intended as for a ten year period but subsequently it has been extended. Now reservation is condemned for the purpose of efficiency and merit.

Every now and then the issue and efficiency of merit comes up as an argument to scrap the reservation system. However, numerous studies, reports and data have shown that till date there has been a marginal increase in the status of a tiny percentge of SC/ST population. They continue to face humilation, exclusion, torture, oppression and violence in the modern India with impunity and find almost zero representation in many aspects of governance and public life.

To conclude the disability caused by representation of SC/ST, we need to see social, economic and political facts. We would like to figure out certain points before public to judge the authority and authenticity of the statement made against interest of SC/ST:

1. Socially, SC/ST form separate and distinct element from rest of the population[1]. Therefore to protect and preserve their interest in all sorts of human life, their representations in all democratic institutions are guaranteed under the constitution of India. In society, position of SC/ST is not accepted – SC/ST kids are burnt alive, gang raped openly, socially boycotted and stripped openly. Economically, they are weak and politically they are controlled by the power of nomination and joint electoral system. In the light of these facts, SC/ST can’t be held responsible for the millenniums old social disability.

2. Let us take another aspect. Vyapam is one of the biggest corruptions to designate inefficient candidates into the bureaucratic infrastructure. Representation of SC/ST is almost negligible in the secretariat of President of India, Prime Minister of India, Supreme Court of India and High Courts. In these places representation of SC/ST can’t be held responsible for the prevailing and persisting corruptions and disabilities.

3. Concentration of wealth is against the constitutional spirit and values under Article 38. Wealth of temples and top 500 corporates is beyond speculation to a common mind. There is no representation of SC/ST in religious institutions or in Private Sector. Therefore SC/ST can’t be held responsible for concentration of wealth in temples and companies.

4. Society is heterogeneous and different social units may take for or against position amongst themselves based on their obvious reasons or understandings. In case of any dispute the judiciary has to adjudicate and interpret in the light of constitutional values. Now remark against the representation of SC/ST is made at the disposal of public authority and entire country maintains silence – This is signal of a threat to democracy itself.

5. Nearly 50 % of the land acquired and allotted to the Special Economic Zone is not in use, Infosys corruption, 2G Spectrum corruption, Coal Block distribution are few examples of corruption being facilitated to private sectors. SC/ST is not responsible for all these corruption cases as their representation is nil.

6. Government of India is providing tax relief (revenue forgone) of Rs. 5 lakh Crore to corporate sector. SC/ST is not getting any benefit out of it. And therefore, they are not responsible for Fiscal Deficit.

7. Nearly Rs. 200 lakh Crore is transacted at Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange but there is no record of the transaction tax thereon. SC/ST have no representation in these institutions and not responsible for any tax theft.

8. Reports of Ashwini Deshpande and other Researchers have established the fact that after ensuring SC/ST representation at work place performance of Indian Railways, TATA International and various other institutions have improved substantially. Exactly this is the demand SC/ST have been perusing for implementation in all institutions throughout the country. In fact we have never noticed any demand for representation in corruption made by SC/ST.

9. From above facts we see the worth of the administrative and financial corruptions to which SC/ST are not at all responsible because of their nil representation.

These are few instances of embezzlement of public resources in the name of merit and efficiency. There are other sectors like land, forest, labour, quarrying, fisheries, handlooms, etc. where so called merit and efficiency has done worst.

Now it is clear that SC/ST is not responsible for forcing and enforcing oligarchy mind on the judicial, executive, economic and legislative infrastructure and on the entire country. This oligarchy is the root of all corruption pointed above. It is only representation, in democratic manner, which can stop corruption in all the dimensions of national life. Reports have established the fact that representation of SC/ST has improved organizational performance.

In fact SC/ST has the history for demanding fair distribution of wealth, knowledge (education) and power. Their representation need to be promoted and extended everywhere to minimise corruption. But it is strange to note that authority of the Supreme Court has been used against the representation of SC/ST.

Decision to quash representation of SC/ST, wherever it exists, should be taken in consideration of the facts from the area where there is no representation.

We demand bench of the Supreme Court of India to quash its statement and issue a public statement for its erroneous and unconstitutional statement.

For further information or clarification please contact Ms Gargi Niyogi at +91 9643062207

Delhi Solidarity Group

Mobile: +91 9990683769, Tel: +91 11 26680914
Email: [email protected]

[1] Census of 1921 and 1931 based on 10 character to identify untouchables and their castes distinct from Hindu. For the purpose of guaranteeing representation of untouchables in adult franchise The Govt. of India (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1936 was enacted.