Madras HC bars Backward Class panel from deciding on internal quota – The New Indian Express

Chennai News

By Express News Service

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday forbore the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes Commission (TNBCC) from deliberating or taking any decision on providing internal reservation within Most Backward Classes (MBCs) or on any other major policy matters affecting the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC), in the commission’s upcoming meeting on May 31.

A division bench of Justices R Suresh Kumar and R Vijayakumar passed the interim order while hearing two petitions filed by president of the De-notified Tribes Welfare Association in Madurai M Jebamani, and Thoothukudi district secretary of Tamil Meenavar Koottamaippu A Brasil seeking a direction to stall the meeting.

The petitioners said the TNBCC chairman had sent a communication on May 20, inviting the commission’s members to a meeting to be held on May 31 to discuss MBC internal reservation, based on a G.O. passed in July 2020. As per the G.O., making a recommendation on the demands of communities seeking internal reservation within the MBC quota is one of the terms of reference of the commission, they added.

However, the commission doesn’t have the power to make recommendations on the matter without consulting the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), the petitioners contended, and added that the panel appointed to collect caste-wise data has not yet submitted its report.

Don’t decide on policy matters concerning SEBCs, says court

The bench observed that though the petitioners have raised certain grounds against the terms of reference mentioned in the G.O., they have not directly challenged the same. It also perused the SC’s recent judgment in the Vanniyar reservation case, which says consultation with the NCBC is mandatory while taking major policy decisions affecting SEBCs, and said,

“The TNBCC should take into account the said observations of the Supreme Court and refrain from making any decision touching upon major policy matters affecting SEBCs without the State government consulting with the NCBC.” The judges also issued notices to the NCBC and TNBCC chairpersons and adjourned the case for a month. Earlier, the State government sought time to file a detailed counter in the matter.

Must consult NCBC, say petitioners
The Tamil Nadu Backward Classes Commission can’t make recommend-ations on the matter without consulting the National Commission for Backward Classes, the petitioners said