Reservation Category Person Can’t Claim Quota Benefits Simultaneously In Two Successor States: Supreme Court

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Case: Pankaj Kumar v. The State of Jharkhand

Coram: Justices UU Lalit and Ajay Rastogi

Case No: CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 4864 OF 2021

Court Observation: “It is made clear that person is entitled to claim benefit of reservation in either of the successor State of Bihar or State of Jharkhand, but will not be entitled to claim benefit of reservation simultaneously in both the successor States and those who are members of the reserved category and are resident of the successor State of Bihar, while participating in open selection in State of Jharkhand shall be treated to be migrants and it will be open to participate in general category without claiming the benefit of reservation and vice-versa”.

“..we clarify that the person is entitled to claim the benefit of reservation in either of the successor State of Bihar or State of Jharkhand but would not be entitled to claim the privileges and benefits of reservation simultaneously in both the States and if that is permitted, it will defeat the mandate of Articles 341(1) and 342(1) of the Constitution”.

“It is obvious that in specifying castes, race or tribes, the President has been authorized to limit notification to part of groups with the castes, etc. and that must mean that after examination of the disadvantages from which they have suffered and the social and economic backwardness, the President may specify castes/tribes, etc. as parts thereof in relation to the entire State or in relation to parts of the State where he is satisfied that after examination of the disadvantages, social and educational hardship and backwardness of the race, caste or tribes justifies such specification”

“The consideration for specifying a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes or Backward Classes in any given State depends on the nature and extent of the disadvantages and social and educational backwardness/hardships suffered by the members concerned of the class in the State specific but that may be absent in another State to which the person has migrated”

“The question that emerges for our consideration in the instant appeals is whether a person, who has been a resident of the State of Bihar and where the Constitution(Scheduled Castes)/(Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 identifying castes/tribes is issued extending the benefit to members of SC/ST throughout the integrated State of Bihar which was later on bifurcated by virtue of a statutory instrument, i.e., the Act, 2000, into two successor States (State of Bihar and State of Jharkhand) with their rights and privileges to the extent being protected by legislative enactment under the provisions of the Act 2000, could still be considered to be a migrant to the successor State of Jharkhand depriving them of their privileges and benefits to which the incumbent or their lineal descendants has availed from the very inception of the Presidential Order 1950 in the integrated State of Bihar”

“It will be highly unfair and pernicious to their interest if the benefits of reservation with privileges and benefits flowing thereof are not being protected in the State of Jharkhand after he is absorbed by virtue to Section 73 of the Act 2000 that clearly postulates not only to protect the existing service conditions but the benefit of reservation and privileges which they were enjoying on or before the appointed day, i.e. November 15, 2000, in the State of Bihar not to be varied to their disadvantage after they became a member of service in the State of Jharkhand”. “We are of the view that the present appellant Pankaj Kumar, being a serving employee (as an assistant teacher) in the State of Jharkhand by virtue of Section 73 of the Act 2000, would be entitled to claim the benefit of reservation including the privileges and benefits admissible to the members of SC category in Jharkhand for all practical purposes including participation in open competition seeking public employment”

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