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Socio economic backwardness cannot be carried from one State to another: HC

Staff Reporter

Rejects Rajasthani student's plea for medical seat under OBC quota

MADURAI: A person belonging to a caste categorised as backward in his native State cannot claim reservation in educational institutions in another State to which he had migrated, the Madras High Court Bench here has ruled.

Justice K. Chandru passed the ruling while dismissing a writ petition filed by a Rajasthani student, who supposedly migrated to Tamil Nadu 15 years ago, seeking a medical seat under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota.

“The petitioner is only a migrant from Rajasthan… His community was shown in the school certificate as Prajapat… Due to such migration, he will not carry the criteria of socio economic backwardness identified by the State of Tamil Nadu.”

“It must be noted that the petitioner's community did not find a place in the list of BC categories published by the State Government (of Tamil Nadu). Under Article 15 of the Constitution, it is the State Government which has to identify the list of socio economic backward classes and such identified members belonging to that class only will have the benefit of reservation,” the judge said.

Supreme Court judgments

He also recalled that the Supreme Court in Marri Chandra Shekar Rao's case (1990) had held that a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe migrating from one State to another does not and could not carry any special rights or privileges attributed to him or granted to him in the original State.

To substantiate its conclusion, the apex court had also referred to a reply given by B.R. Ambedkar to a question raised during the Constituent Assembly debate.

He had said: “So far as the present Constitution stands, a member of a Scheduled Tribe going outside the Scheduled area or tribal area would certainly not be entitled to carry with him the privileges that he is entitled to when he is residing in a scheduled area or a tribal area.

“So far as I can see, it will be practicably impossible to enforce the provisions that apply to tribal areas or scheduled areas, in areas other than those which are covered by them.”

Citing this as well as another Supreme Court judgement in Action Committee on Issue of Caste Certificate to SCs/STs Vs. Union of India (1994), Mr. Justice Chandru said: “Though these judgements were given in the context of privilege and right conferred on the SC, the ratio will squarely apply even more vigorously to the claim made by the present petitioner.”

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