On Thursday, Supreme Court held that verdict delivered in 2004 holding that the states don’t have the power to further sub-classify the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, in order to grant quotas in jobs and educational qualifications, needs to be revisited.
The five-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra stated that the verdict delivered by a constitution bench in E V Chinnaiah case in 2004 needs to be reconsidered. Therefore, the matter should be placed before Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde for an appropriate direction.
Five judge bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee, Justice Vineet Saran, Justice M R Shah, and Justice Aniruddha Bose, along with Justice Arun Mishra stated that 2004 verdict is wrongly decided and needs to be reconsidered. The bench also stated that the states can make laws to give a preferential treatment through sub-classification of castes within SC/STs.
The apex court bench has referred the case filed by Punjab government against Punjab and Haryana High Court order to CJI Bobde, urging for setting up a larger bench to revisit the earlier order.
Punjab and Haryana High Court had relied on the 2004 verdict and held that the Punjab government is not empowered to sub-classify the SC/STs.