CHENNAI: The Supreme Court has declined to stay the Madras high court order quashing 10.5% quota for vanniyars in education and employment, and barred the state government from making further appointments or admissions under the quota. Appointments and admissions already done will be subject to the outcome of the case, said the court on Thursday. A three-judge bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao, Justice B R Gavai and Justice B V Nagarathna issued the directions on a batch of appeals filed by the government of Tamil Nadu, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), and a few others. The bench posted the case to February 15, and said it would hear it without any adjournments.
HC had cited lack of data on vanniyars
It was on November 4, 2021, that a division bench of the Madras high court declared as unconstitutional the special law providing 10.5% quota for Kshatriya Kula Vanniars. On August 11, 2018, the 102nd amendment of the Constitution denuding the states of their power to include castes in the list of other backward communities for jobs and education, came into existence. After its constitutionality was upheld by the Supreme Court, triggering political and social uproar, the Union government restored the power of the states by the 105th amendment on August 19, 2021.
Referring to this, the high court had pointed out that as of February 26, 2021, when the then AIADMK government enacted the impugned Vanniar quota law, the state had no legislative competence at all.
The high court had also cited lack of quantifiable data on backwardness of the community concerned to earmark 10.5% quota, and said any quota based purely on caste was unconstitutional.