Constitutional Provisions Related to Reservation in India

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS RELATED TO RESERVATION IN INDIA

Article 330

Article 330 of Part XVI of the Constitution deals with the provision relating to reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes which should be in the same proportion to the total number of seats allotted to the State or Union Territory. This article is limited only to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and does not include the reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha for backward classes. 

Some major amendments were introduced for the better enforcement of the said article. 

  • The Constitution ( Twenty-Third Amendment) Act, 1969-  Article 330 and 332 were amended as the Government of Nagaland proposed not to make reservations in their state as 90% of Nagaland’s population were tribal people and it would be inconsistent to make revisions for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the legislatures in the states where they are in majority. Hence, in Article 330 subclause (b) of clause (1) was added. (“except the Scheduled Tribes in the tribal areas of Assam and Nagaland). 
  • The Constitution ( Thirty-First Amendment) Act, 1973-  According to the 1971 Census, the tribal people of Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram formed the majority with 80.5%, 79%, 88.6%, and 94.3 % respectively. It was considered that there was no need for reservation in the legislative assembly for the following States. Hence, Article 330 subclause (b) of clauses (1) and (2) were amended, and Clause (3) and (4) were added under Article 332. 
  • The Constitution ( Fifty-First Amendment) Act, 1984-  On 31st March 1980, The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly passed a resolution demanding reservation for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and the House of the People also supported by  Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram. As provision was already enshrined under Article 330 of the Indian Constitution. The amendment was made under Article 330 in clause (1), for sub-clause (b) and changed it to (the Scheduled Tribes except for the Scheduled Tribes in the autonomous districts of Assam; and”)

Article 331

Article 331 is read with Article 81(1)(b) states that if the President feels that the Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in the House of the People. He can appoint not more than two members in the House of the People. The provision was implemented only for ten years after the commencement of the Constitution but later on, it was extended through various amendments. Such as, the Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Act, 1971 then in the Constitution (Twenty-third Amendment) Act, 1980, the Constitution (Forty-fifth Amendment) Act, 1990, the Constitution (Sixty-second Amendment) Act, 2006, the Constitution (Seventy-ninth Amendment) Act, 2010, and the Constitution (Ninety-fifth Amendment) Act, 2020. Finally, it was abolished by the Constitution (One Hundred and Fourth Amendment) Act, 2019. 

Article 332

It deals with the provision relating to reservation of seats in the State Legislative Assemblies for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes which should be in the same proportion to the total number of seats allotted to the Assembly. Clause(3) of Article 332 is read with Article 170 which states that the number of seats for the assemblies of Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram can be readjusted according to the change in population after the (2026) census. 

(Clause 3) (sub clause A) of Section 332 was added after the Constitution (Fifty-seventh Amendment) Act, 1987. In this amendment it was proposed that all the seats except one should be reserved for the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly, which should not be less than the number of members belonging to the Scheduled Tribes in the existing Legislative Assembly. 

Clause (6) of Article 332 states that the person shall not be eligible for election from any constituencies of the district who is not the member of a Scheduled Tribe of autonomous district of the State of Assam. 

Article 333

Article 333 is read with Article 170, states that if the Governor feels that the Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in the Legislative Assembly of the State. He can appoint not more than one member in the Legislative Assembly of the State.

Article 334

The reservation of seats for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People and the State Legislative Assembly and the nomination of Anglo-Indian community in the  House of the People and the State Legislative Assembly shall cease after seventy years from the commencement of the Constitution. However the period of reservation was extended to 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010 by the 23rd, 45th, 62nd and 79th Amendments respectively. The 95th Amendment extended the period of reservation to 2020. The period of reservation was further extended to 2030 by the 104th Amendment. 

Article 335

Article 335 of the Constitution says that the claims of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes of the constitution shall be taken into consideration for the efficiency of administration. 

Provision shall be made by the Union or State in the favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes for relaxation in qualifying marks in any examination, promotion to any class of services or posts or by lowering the standard of evaluation. It was added to Article 335 after the Constitution (Eighty-second Amendment) Act, 2000. 

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Article 336

Special provision has been mentioned for the Anglo-Indian community under Article 336. Seats in the Union’s railway, customs, postal and telegraph services were reserved for two years after the Constitution came into force. The number of seats reserved for the Anglo-Indian community will be reduced by ten percent after every two years. Hence, special provision will end after ten years. Therefore, the special provision shall be abolished after ten years.

Clause 2 states that (clause 1) shall not bar the appointment of members of the Anglo-Indian community to other posts. If such members are found qualified, they will be given priority over other community members.

Article 337

Special provision has been mentioned for the Anglo-Indian community under Article 337. Seats were reserved for the Anglo-Indian community in education during the first three financial years after the commencement of the Constitution. he number of seats reserved for the Anglo-Indian community will be reduced by ten percent after every preceding three years. It was also added that no educational institution can reserve all seats for the Anglo-Indian community, with a minimum of forty per cent seats reserved for communities other than Anglo-Indians.

Article 338

Clause 1 has the provision to constitute a Commission for Scheduled Castes, known as National Commission for the Scheduled Castes. Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other three members will be appointed by the President (Clause 2) and present a annual report to the President (Clause 5) (sub-clause d) including the recommendations of measures shall be taken by the Union and the State for the effective implementation of policies, other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes  (Clause 5) (sub-clause e). National Commission for the Scheduled Castes have the power to regulate its own procedure (Clause 4) and it’s the duty of the Commission to investigate all the matters related to the safeguard of Scheduled Castes and to inquire all the complaints which specifically deals with the deprivation of rights and safeguard of the Scheduled Castes (Clause 5) (sub-clause a and b). The advice of the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes shall be taken into consideration by the Union and  the State while planning any major policies for the Scheduled Castes (Clause 9).  Article 338A was added under Article 338 after the  Constitution (Eighty-ninth Amendment) Act, 2003. 

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Article 338A

Clause 1 has the provision to constitute a Commission for Scheduled Tribes, known as National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes,. Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other three members will be appointed by the President (Clause 2) and present a annual report to the President (Clause 5) (sub-clause d) including the recommendations of measures shall be taken by the Union and the State for the effective implementation of policies, other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled

Tribes, (Clause 5) (sub-clause e). National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes, have the power to regulate its own procedure (Clause 4) and it’s the duty of the Commission to investigate all the matters related to the safeguard of Scheduled Tribes,and to inquire all the complaints which specifically deals with the deprivation of rights and safeguard of the Scheduled Tribes,(Clause 5) (sub-clause a and b). The advice of the National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration by the Union and  the State while planning any major policies for the Scheduled Tribes (Clause 9).  

Article 339

The President has the power to constitute a Commission by an order to report the administration of the Scheduled Areas and the welfare of Scheduled Tribes. The order passed by the President may define the composition, powers and procedure of the Commission. 

Under (Clause b)The Union shall direct the State to draw and execute the schemes which are essential for the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes in the State.  

Article 340

The President has the power to appoint a commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to inquire into the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes in the territory of India and the difficulties under which they work. It is the duty of the Commission to recommend the steps to be taken by the Union or the State to remove the difficulties and improve their conditions (Clause 1) and the commission shall investigate all the matters referred to them and present an annual report to the President  (Clause 2). The President shall present a report along with the memorandum in each House of Parliament stating the actions taken of  (Clause 3).

Article 341

The President (with respect to the Union) with the consulation of Governor (with respect to the State) shall specify castes, races or tribes or parts of or groups within castes, races or tribes

References 

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https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-2849-legislative-commentary-article-330-constitution-of-india-1950.html

http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2020/215637.pdf

  1. Vinod Kumar Vs. Union India

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