Bill To Hike SC/ST Quota Introduced In Karnataka Assembly

The Karnataka government on Tuesday introduced a bill in the Parliament to replace the ordinance to raise the reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) in the state.

The Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and Reservation of Appointments or Posts in State Government Services) Bill, 2022 will replace the ordinance with the same title, which increased the reservation for SCs from 15 to 17 percent and from 3 to 7 percent for STs, which was promulgated on October 23.

The State Cabinet on October 8 approved to increase the SC/ST quota.

“Since the matter was urgent and both houses of the state legislature were absent, the ordinance was promulgated by notification dated October 23 to achieve the purpose, and all the provisions of the ordinance came into force from November 1. The bill calls for replacing the said ordinance,” the bill says.

The decision to increase the SC/ST quota followed the recommendation of a committee headed by a retired Karnataka High Court judge HN Nagamohan Das.

Opposition parties are skeptical of the government’s intentions with the ordinance or the bill now, as the increase in reservation will breach the 50 percent ceiling set by the Supreme Court in the 1992 Indra Sawhney case.

As the decision to raise the quota is yet to be restricted under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, leaving it vulnerable, bringing the number of reservations to 56 percent in Karnataka, opposition parties have questioned the government on how it would implement it. .

Earlier, the Congress, led by Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, asked Speaker Vishveshwar Hegde Kage for an adjournment motion to discuss the issue of increase in reservations in the Assembly on priority, saying the government’s move was politically motivated and had no genuine concern. for the oppressed sections.

Pressed for an adjournment motion, Siddaramaiah pointed out that the state government is promulgating an ordinance and introducing a bill in the Assembly, and that the issue should be discussed seriously and in detail as it includes constitutional and legal aspects.

He stated that the central government, while replying on the issue of reservation in the Parliament, has suggested that the reservation cannot be improved beyond 50 percent.

Siddaramaiah further said, “We are not against increase in reservation, we are in favor of it, but a constitutional amendment should be made and increase in reservation should be included in the ninth schedule to protect it, without doing that the ordinance was promulgated. , valid and not maintainable everything. Therefore, it must be discussed.”

Although Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy, who introduced the bill, opposed a separate discussion on the increase in reservations as the issues will be discussed during the passage of the bill, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai agreed to discuss the issue in another. rule instead of the adjournment motion, the speaker said he would set a time for debate.

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