Karnataka government to issue notification soon on increasing reservation of SCs and STs

A special Cabinet meeting chaired by CM Bommai decided to implement the Nagmohan Das Committee report on reservation in toto

A special Cabinet meeting chaired by CM Bommai decided to implement the Nagmohan Das Committee report on reservation in toto

The Karnataka Government will issue a notification in 2-3 days on increasing the reservation for Scheduled Castes from 15% to 17%, and for Scheduled Tribes from 3% to 7%.

Briefing presspersons after a special State Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy said the Cabinet has decided to implement the entire report of a committee headed by retired High Court judge H N Nagmohan Das which recommended increasing reservation for SCs from 15% to 17%, and for STs from 3% to 7%.

The Minister said the Government Order on increasing the reservation for SCs and STs would be issued in 2-3 days. “Today’s Cabinet meeting has taken the decision to implement the Nagamohan Das Commission report in toto. We are going to issue a government order. The modalities and details on how to go about it and its implementation will be given in the government order.”

159 beneficiary communities

The hike in reservation would benefit 103 communities in the SCs and 56 communities in the STs.

To a question regarding the possibility of reducing the quota of other communities such as general category and OBCs, Mr. Madhuswamy said “Whenever you have reservation, we are there to eat somebody’s benefit. But we have to safeguard the interests of the downtrodden and underprivileged, who have suffered for a long time and have had no scope of competing with the creamy layer of the society”.

Internal reservations

An all-party meeting convened by the ruling BJP government on Friday reached a consensus on increasing reservation for SCs and STs.

On providing internal reservation among SCs and STs, Mr. Madhuswamy said the Chief Minister had suggested forming a committee under the Law Department and submitting a report after consultations with all other departments. The committee would study the providing of an internal quota within the limits of the Nagamohan Das Committee report.

Asked about the fate of the GO if challenged in the court, Mr Madhuswamy said, “The government is doing its work. We have to fill up many vacancies in the departments. The government is for empowering SCs and STs”.

A Bill for constitutional amendment

Responding to a query on the requirement of constitutional amendment to increase the quota beyond 50%, he said “Executive work and legislature work are entirely two different issues. As of now, we have decided to implement the government order. The government has some purpose and ideology. We will do our work.”

He said the government would also explore introducing a Bill in the State legislature in December, 2022, to increase the quota. Later, it would urge the Centre to pass the Bill in the Parliament for a constitutional amendment to expand the reservations to more than 50% under Scheduled 9 of the Constitution, along the lines of the Tamil Nadu government, which has increased reservation up to 69%. 

In the Indra Sawhney case in the early 1990s, the Supreme Court restricted the reservation to 50%. Currently, Karnataka provides 32% reservation for OBCs, 15% for SCs and 3% for STs, totaling 50% as capped by the Supreme Court.

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