“Reservation is not a Fundamental Right” proclaims the apex court of India
Parties across Tamil Nadu joined hands together to file a petition against the Central Government, accusing them of violating the “right of the people of Tamil Nadu to have a fair education” by not implementing the 50% quota for the backward classes.
Justice L. Nageswara Rao headed a bench on 3 Judges, expressed genuine wonder at how political rivals have come together as one, in this case, allowed them the liberty to approach the Madras High Court.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi represented the Tamil Nadu government, the ruling AIADMK party through advocate Balaji Srinivasan, Opposition DMK through senior advocate P. Wilson, Tamil Nadu Congress, CPI (M), etc, all of them filed petitions separately.
The petitions argue that by not implementing 50% quota for backward classes and most backward classes for the All India Quota seats in medicine and dental science course – both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, the centre is violating the right of the people of Tamil Nadu to have a fair education.
Justice asked Mr. Wilson at the very beginning of the hearing that whose petition came up first, how the plea was maintainable. To this, the advocate replied, “The reservation already exists. We are not asking the court to provide any further reservation.” – Justice Rao retorted – “But you have filed writ petitions under Article 32 of the constitution. Article 32 petition is for the violation of fundamental rights. What fundamental rights have been violated here?”
“The right to education and right to reservation were violated” – replies senior advocate. To this Justice Rao says, “Right to reservation is not a fundamental right…Do you want us to dismiss this or we can otherwise permit you to withdraw…” All the parties unanimously agreed to move to the high court after withdrawing the petitions from the Supreme Court.