Chebrolu Leela Prasad Rao and others v. State of Andhra Pradesh and others.
Citation- 2020 SCC OnLine SC 383, Appeal (Civil), 3609 of 2002,
Dated :- 22/April/2020
Court – Supreme Court of India
(5 judge bench)
- Hon’ble Justice Arun Mishra,
- Hon’ble Justice Indira Banerjee,
- Hon’ble Justice Vineet Saran,
- Hon’ble Justice M.R. Shah,
- Hon’ble Justice Aniruddha Bose
Appellants – CHEBROLU LEELA PRASAD RAO & ORS.
Respondents- STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH & ORS.
Citation- 2020 SCC OnLine SC 383, Appeal (Civil), 3609 of 2002,
Facts Of The Case:-
- The governor of Andhra Pradesh in the exercise of his powers under para 5(1) of Schedule V to the Constitution of India, directed that the posts of teachers in the educational institution in the scheduled tribe areas shall be reserved for scheduled tribes only notwithstanding anything contained in any other order or rule or law in force.
- The Andhra Pradesh Administrative tribunal quashed the notification. Another notification was promulgated to amend the previous notification and stated that the appointment of non tribals to hold the posts of teachers in the scheduled areas till such time the qualified local tribals were not made available.
- After that, non-tribals who were appointed as teachers in the scheduled areas filed Writ Petition No.5276/1993 in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad against termination of their services. The same was allowed vide judgment, and the advertisements were held to be violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
- The Government issued a fresh notification vide GOMs. No. 3 dated 10.1.2000 effectively providing for 100% reservation in respect of appointment to the posts of teachers in the scheduled areas. The tribunal set aside the GOMs (notification).
- Aggrieved thereby, writ petitions were filed in the High Court, a 3 Judge Bench by majority upheld the validity of G.O. Aggrieved by the same, the appeals have been made to the supreme court of India.
Governors order was brought under 5 schedule, that empowered Governor to direct that any particular Act of parliament or state legislature does not apply to a scheduled area or applies with specified modifications and exceptions.
(1) What is the scope of paragraph 5(1), Schedule V to the Constitution of India?
- Does the provision empower the governor to make a new law?
The governor lacks the authority to enact a new Act under the provisions contained in para 5(1) of Schedule V of the Constitution and he cannot act beyond it’s purview and has to exercise power within the four corners of the provisions.”
- Does the power extend to subordinate legislation?
The power of the Governor under Para 5(1) of Schedule V of the constitution is restricted to modifying or not to apply, Acts of the Parliament or legislature of the State. Thus, the rules could not have been amended in the exercise of the powers conferred under Para 5(1) of Schedule V.
- Can the exercise of the power conferred therein override fundamental rights guaranteed under part III?
The power of the Governor does not supersede the fundamental rights…
- Does the exercise of such power override any parallel exercise of power by the president under Article 371D?
Not only do the two constitutional provisions operate in distinct domains but also that Article 371D was not enacted to be a super imposition on Fifth Schedule.
So,the Governor is competent to issue an order which is not in conflict with the Presidential Order.
(2) Whether 100% reservation is permissible under the Constitution?
According to Bench,”Question emanating in the case is how to balance the rights of scheduled castes and schedule tribes. Whether providing 100% Percent reservation in favour of any particular class is permissible?”
Indira Sawhney and ors. Vs. Union of India and ors.(1992)-:
- To reiterate that “total reservations cannot exceed 50%.”
- Concept of reservation is not proportionate but adequate.
Nagraj and Ors. V. Union of India and Ors., (2006) 8 SCC 212-:
- “It was held that the ceiling limit of the reservation is 50% without which structure of equality of opportunity in Article 16 would collapse.”
- 100% reservation would amount to unreasonable and unfair and cannot be termed except as unfair and unreasonable and thus, providing 100% reservation to the schedule castes and scheduled tribes is not permissible.
The Bench Stated :-
We find that G. O. Ms. No.3/2000 is wholly impermissible and cannot be said to be legally permissible and constitutionally valid.”
(3) Whether the notification merely contemplates a classification under Article 16(1) and not reservation under Article 16(4)?
- The reservations for scheduled tribes are covered within Article 16(4).
- Thus, no further preference or classification could have been made under Article 16(1) of the constitution of India in favour of scheduled tribes as Article 16(4) is exhaustive of the special provisions that can be made in favour of schedule castes scheduled tribes, and other backward classes.
- Reservation for the other classes can be provided under Article 16(1) and not to scheduled tribes to whom the reservation has been provided under Article 16(4).
(4) Whether the conditions of eligibility to avail the benefit of reservation in the notification are reasonable?
It is violative of Article 14,15(1) and 16 of the constitution and has no rationale with the purpose sought to be achieved.
It creates a class within a class, and the classification made failed to qualify the parameters of Articles 14,15 and 16 of the Constitution of India.
- The Indian Constitution is symmetrical and spatial for SCs/STs, Where scheduled areas are constituted under the provisions of Article 244 and Schedules V and VI. The Constitution creates special classification. Equality is a concept of anti arbitrariness.
- The normal rule of 50% reservation can be relaxed in appropriate cases that have precisely been done by the Governor.
- The scheme of Schedule V, as a whole, deserves to be dealt with on a special constitutional footing, which is an exclusive constitutional enclave, free in its ambit to ensure the promotion of the interests, concerns, and the development of scheduled areas.
- There are Special provisions which have been carved out in the Constitution, Article 16(4) is not an exception to Article 16(1) being part of equality.
- A question is raised whether an executive order made in terms of Article 16(4) is effective and enforceable by itself or whether it is necessary that the said “provision” is enacted into a law made by the appropriate legislature under Article 309 or is incorporated into and issued as a Rule by the President/Governor under the proviso to Article 309 for it to become enforceable?
- The court stated that until a law is made or rules are issued under Article 309 with respect to the reservation in favor of backward classes, it would always be open to the Executive Government to provide for reservation of appointments/posts in favor of Backward Classes by an executive order.
- By providing 100 percent reservation to scheduled tribes has deprived the opportunity to other communities. The concept of reservation is not proportionate but adequate, as held in Indra Sawhney (supra). The action is thus unreasonable and arbitrary and violative of provisions of Article 14,15 and 16 of the Constitution of India. It also impinges upon the right of open category and scheduled tribes who have settled in the area after 26th January 1950. The total percentage of reservation provided for Scheduled Tribes in the State is 6%. By providing 100 percent reservation in the scheduled areas, the rights of the tribals, who are not residents of the scheduled areas, shall also be adversely affected. As per Presidential order under Article 371D, they cannot stake their claim in other areas.
- The honorable court thus stated that It was least expected from the functionary like Government to act in aforesaid manner as they were bound by the dictum laid down by this Court in Indra Sawhney (supra) and other decisions holding that the limit of reservation not to exceed 50%. There was no rhyme or reason with the State Government to resort to 100% reservation and therefore these notification are unconstitutional.
This case is very important and has far-reaching consequences, it has strengthened the arguments of having a revision of the reservation list by the Government, the court is of opinion that “It can be done presently without disturbing the percentage of reservation so that benefits trickle down to the needy and are not usurped by those classes who have come up after obtaining the benefits for the last 70 years or after their inclusion in the list”.
The court opinion can also be interpreted to strengthen the arguments to introduce a creamy layer for the SC/ST community as it is considered for the OBC community, which can help the poorest of poor and those who are devoid of the benefits of reservation
Author: Nishtha .,
Trinity institute of professional studies