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The Hindu
The Hindu
Legal Correspondent

T.N. appeals in SC to restore Vanniyar quota

The Tamil Nadu Government has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, challenging the Madras High Court’s November 1 order declaring as ultra vires a law which provided 10.5% internal reservation to Vanniyars within the overall 20% quota for the Most Backward Classes (MBCs) in government jobs and higher education.

The State Government, represented by advocate D. Kumanan, said the High Court order was based on an erroneous view that the State had no legislative competence, and that the special reservation was provided with caste as the basis and without quantifiable data.

The State Government said Tamil Nadu was a pioneer in granting reservation.

“The Most Backward Classes within the Backward Classes were identified in Tamil Nadu as early as in 1957, when they were considered equivalent to the Scheduled Castes, but without the factor of untouchability,” the petition said.

It said some of these communities were impacted by the criminal tribes laws of the British and enlisted as MBCs. The recommendation on 10.5% reservation for the Vanniyakula Kshatriyas was made in commensuration with their population as enumerated in a survey done in 1983 by the Tamil Nadu Second Backward Classes Commission.

“The State had enacted the Act in 2021 only based on adequate authenticated data on the population of the Most Backward Classes and Denotified Communities enumerated by the Tamil Nadu Second Backward Classes Commission in 1983,” the government contended.

Tamil Nadu said the caste-wise population data disclosed by the Commission was the “only authenticated data available as of now before the State; and such data can be used effectively to plan for sub-classification within backward classes of citizens”.

“Totally brushing aside such an authentic survey just for the insignificant observations in the note of dissenting members of that Commission on the population enumerated on few of the communities in the order [of the High Court] cannot be sustained,” the State said.

It said the High Court had decided to focus on these observations rather than the “stupendous” exercise conducted for two years by the Commission and the State for enumeration of the data.

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