SC strikes down 10.5% reservation for Vanniyars community in Tamil Nadu
The SC also declared to strike down Vanniyar Reservation Act 2021 and said that the act was “unconstitutional”.
The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the 10.5 per cent internal reservation granted by the Tamil Nadu government to Vanniyars, a Most Backward Community (MBC), in government jobs and admission to educational institutions. The SC also declared to strike down Vanniyar Reservation Act 2021 and said that the act was “unconstitutional”.
The Vanniyar community was given internal reservation under the existing 20 per cent reservation given to Most Backward Classes (MBCs) by the Tamil Nadu government.
The court was hearing a batch of appeals against a Madras High Court order, which quashed the 10.5% reservation provided to Vanniyars, a Most Backward Community (MBC) in Tamil Nadu, in government jobs and admission to educational institutions.
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai upheld the Madras High Court order which had quashed the reservation.
“We are of the opinion that there is no substantial basis for classifying Vanniakula Kshatriyas into one group to be treated differently from the remaining 115 communities within the MBC groups and, therefore, the 2021 Act is in violation of Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution. Therefore, we uphold the decision of the high court,” the bench said.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly had in February 2021 passed the Bill — piloted by the then ruling AIADMK — providing internal reservation of 10.5% for Vanniyars. Later, the incumbent DMK government issued an order in July 2021 for its implementation.
It had split the aggregate 20 per cent reservation for MBCs and denotified communities into three separate categories by regrouping castes and provided a 10 per cent plus sub-quota for Vanniyars, formerly known as Vanniakula Kshatriyas.
However, this reservation was later challenged in the Madras High Court. The Madras High Court, in November 2021, quashed the reservation stating that the reservation was “illegal in the eyes of law and in violation of the Constitution of India.”