100% reservation for district teachers cannot compromise education standards: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the quality of education of school-going children cannot be compromised by giving 100 per cent reservation in favor of teachers from a single district and banning the appointment of qualified teachers. The Supreme Court struck down a 2016 notification issued by Jharkhand to provide 100 per cent reservation for locals in district cadre class III and class IV posts in 13 scheduled districts of the state.

A bench of Justices M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathana said, “If candidates from other areas (non-scheduled areas/districts) are given educational opportunity (which is more than candidates from scheduled areas/districts) ), this will be of greater benefit to the students belonging to the scheduled areas and will definitely improve their educational quality. The educational quality of school going children cannot be compromised by banning the appointment of

In its 107-page judgment, the bench said that the notification of 100 per cent reservation (reservation on the basis of residence) for natives of the respective Scheduled Areas/Districts is contrary to Article 35 read with Article 16(3). Constitution.

“100% reservation provided only to natives of the respective scheduled districts/territories would be violative of Article 16(2) of the Constitution of India and would affect the rights of other candidates/citizens of non-scheduled territories/districts guaranteed under Sec. III of the Constitution of India,” said Justice Shah, who wrote the judgment on behalf of the bench.

The bench noted that it may be true that as far as basic education (at the level of the primary section) is concerned, it may help to teach the students in their own tribal language at the primary level (providing basic education). can But the same principle cannot be applied when the question is of imparting higher level of education. Above Class 5, he added.

The Supreme Court’s decision came amid a batch of appeals filed by Jharkhand and some individuals against the Jharkhand High Court’s judgment, which struck down the notification. Declaring the notification as unconstitutional, the High Court set aside the appointments of trained graduate teachers under the advertisement in the Scheduled Districts to the natives of those districts.

Original Respondents – Candidates belonging to 13 scheduled districts have preferred the present appeals. The Supreme Court noted that as per Article 16(3) read with Article 35, local domicile reservation can be provided only by law enacted by Parliament and the State Legislature has no power to do so. It further held that the notification was declared void for violation of fundamental rights under Article 13 and was held to be extremely dangerous.

The Supreme Court referred to the law laid down by a Constitution Bench in 2020, Chibrulu Leela Prasad Rao and others v. State of Andhra Pradesh, where 100 per cent stipend was given to members of Scheduled Tribes in teaching posts in Scheduled Areas in Andhra Pradesh. The reservation was abolished. .

The successful candidates from the State Government and the Scheduled Districts contended that the notification of 100 per cent reservation for the natives of the Scheduled Areas was within the purview, scope and powers of the Governor in use of para 5 of the Fifth Schedule. Constitution.

Referring to various judgments of the Supreme Court, the bench said that it was observed and held that para 5 of the Fifth Schedule confers powers on the Governor, it is not intended to confer discretionary powers. “The Constitution can never be intended to confer any discretionary powers on the constitutional authorities. They must be exercised in a lawful and rational manner keeping in mind the objectives and provisions of the Constitution.

Noting that the state government had told the High Court that the initiative was taken to overcome the factors of low human development indices, backwardness, poverty etc. in the scheduled districts, the apex court directed that the new/ In lieu of de novo recruitment process, by setting aside appointments already made in scheduled districts/regions, the previous appointments obtained by the last selected candidates in each TGT subject against the respective categories in respect of the entire State and the respective candidates. Will revise the merit list based on the published cut off. Candidates belonging to Non-Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Areas (Districts) will be adjusted accordingly on the basis of individual merit. said the bench.

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