HC to wait for SC ruling before tackling TN Arunthathiyars Act

Madurai, Feb 3 (PTI) The verdict over writ petitionschallenging the Tamil Nadu Arunthathiyars Act 2009 would haveto wait till the Supreme Court gives its verdict in anidentical case pending before it, the Madras High Court Benchsaid here today.

The Act, which provides Arunthathiyars specialreservation of three per cent out of 18 per cent given toScheduled Castes in educational institutions and governmentemployment, was challenged on the grounds that sub-classifyingseven categories of SC candidates and grouping them asArunthathiyars violated the constitution.

Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice R Subbiah,said an identical case against the Punjab Scheduled Caste andBackward Classes (Reservation in Services) Act 2006, reserving50 per cent of the vacancies of the quota reserved forscheduled caste candidates in direct recruitment to Balmikisand Mazbhi Sikhs, was pending before the Supreme court.

"We are of the view that it is just and appropriate thatthese writ petitions (challenging TN Arunthathiyars Act 2009)can be disposed off after the decision is rendered by theSupreme court in Punjab case", the judges observed when thecase came up for hearing today.

The petitioners had submitted that, "The Act is beyondthe legislative compentence of the State Government, andParliament alone is competent to modify or tamper theScheduled Caste list".

The Advocate General submitted that the decision to givespecial reservation was taken after Justice M S JanarthanamCommittee''s report, which said "Arunthathiyars were the mostbackward among the SCs, who were not getting their due sharein the SC Category both in admissions and appointments". Thegovernment thought it fit to give preference to the saidcommunity candidates, the AG argued.

The Punjab Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes(Reservation in Services) Act 2006, passed by the Punjabgovernment, was struck down by the Punjab and Haryana HighCourt. However, the Supreme Court stayed the High Court order,and the Act is currently being implemented by the Punjabgovernment. The case is pending in the Supreme Court.

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