NEW DELHI: The supreme court on Thursday referred to a “Bench of appropriate strength” for deciding whether a Scheduled Caste candidate in a particular state is entitled to the benefits of quota in employment in another state.
A Bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar passed the order while dealing with Uttarakhand government’s appeal challenging a ruling of the High Court that if a SC candidate migrates to another state he or she would be entitled to the benefits of reservation.
The state took the stance that an SC migrating from one state to another would not be entitled to the benefit unless the community to which the candidate belonged was also listed under the category of Scheduled Castes in the migrating State.
The high court had earlier directed the state to reinstate certain SC candidates from UP, Bihar, Tripura as Assistant Professors in the G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology after they were removed on the ground that though they were treated as Dalits in respective states, yet the communities were not listed as Dalits in Uttarakhand.
The apex court, while dealing with the issue, referred to the Constitution Bench ruling in Mari Chandra Shekar Rao case (1990) wherein it was held that an SC candidate cannot derive the benefit of reservation in another state unless the community was listed as Scheduled Caste on the basis of the Presidential Order under Article 341 and 342.
A similar view was held by a three-judge bench in S Pushpa V Sivachanmugavel (2005) case by relying on the Constitution Bench’s earlier ruling.
However, the three-judge Bench’s ruling was ignored by a two-judge Bench in the Subhash Chandra Vs Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board case in 2009 which took the view that the earlier direction by the three-judge Bench was only an obiter dicta (suggestion) and was not binding. It took a contary view that an SC even if he/she migrates was entitled to the benefits of reservation.
The apex court today took exception to the two-judge bench’s ruling and said “in our considered opinion, it was not open to a two-judge Bench to say that the decision of a three judge Bench rendered following the Constitution Bench judgements to be per incuriam(a mistake and not binding).”
The apex court, citing a Constitution Bench ruling, said the law laid down by a larger Bench is binding on any subsequent Bench of lesser or co-equal strength.
Read more: SC to decide on migrant Dalits right to reservation – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/-SC-to-decide-on-migrant-Dalits-right-to-reservation/articleshow/6707608.cms#ixzz11w1X9Ywe