The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a Madras High Court verdict which quashed a law that provided 10.5 per cent reservation to the Vanniyar community under the Most Backward Classes category.
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai said: “We are of the opinion that there is no basis to treat Vanniyar as a separate group compared to the Other Backward Classes… Thus the 2021 Act is ultra vires Articles 14 and 16.”
However, the top court held that the state government had the legislative competence to pass the Act.
A detailed judgment in the matter will be delivered later in the day.
On December 16 last year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea by Tamil Nadu government and others challenging the Madras High Court’s judgment.
The high court had ruled that Tamil Nadu special reservation of seats in educational institutions and appointments or posts in services under the state within the reservation for the Most Backward Classes and Denotified Communities Act, 2021 as ultra vires the provisions of the Constitution.
The state government had cited various reports and data indicating that the Vanniyars were among the Most Backward Classes.
The high court had noted that the state government lacked the competence to pass the law as it was brought before the 105th Constitutional Amendment.
The top court had also declined to entertain a contention seeking referring the appeals to the Madras High Court order to a larger bench.