The government should bring an ordinance to “rectify” the Supreme Court’s recent decision on reservation in jobs for scheduled caste-scheduled tribes communities and all such issues should be included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution to insulate them from judicial review, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday.
He said the government was also mulling filing a review against the Supreme Court decision and was taking legal opinion on it.
“The review petition is there, but the matter will again go to court, it has to be looked at whether it will be successful or not. So, in my opinion the easiest way is to issue an ordinance and make an amendment in the Constitution,” Mr Paswan told PTI in an interview.
The Lok Janshakti Party leader’s remarks come amidst a political storm after the Supreme Court recently ruled that the states are not bound to provide reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in appointments and there is no fundamental right to claim quota in promotions.
“The Supreme Court saying that it is up to the state government for giving reservation in jobs and it is not a fundamental right…This is all part of the Constitution, and the people have this objection that the verdict is against the interests of the SCs and STs,” Mr Paswan said.
To “rectify” the Supreme Court verdict, an ordinance should be brought and the Constitution should be amended, the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution minister said.
An ordinance can be brought when parliament is not in session.
However, if the government still wants to bring one during a break in an ongoing session, one of the two Houses is adjourned sine die (indefinitely), and once the ordinance is signed by the President, the House that was adjourned for the purpose is reconvened, a senior government official said. There have been precedents.
The ordinance has a shelf life of six months. Once a session begins it has to be converted into a law within six weeks, or else it lapses.
LJP chief Chirag Paswan had also raised the matter in Lok Sabha and demanded that all such matters related with SC/ST be put in the Ninth Schedule, Paswan said.
“All issues related to SC/ST should be put in the Ninth Schedule,” he said.
“Then going to the court will be done away with because what is happening is that state legislatures and Parliament are passing laws (on SC/ST rights), but they get stuck in legal wrangles,” he said.