Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

Quota is State-specific, rules the Supreme Court


Mains Paper 2: Polity | Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Judgment of the SC, Judges Cases

Mains level: Debate over Reservations.



The Constitution Bench was answering a reference made to it in Bir Singh versus Delhi Jal Board, a 2013 case, on the legal question whether a Scheduled Caste person from a State would be accorded the same concessions in employment in another State.

Pan-India reservation rule applies to Delhi

  1. Reservation is State-specific, but Delhi is a ‘miniature India’ where the “pan-India reservation rule” applies according to the Supreme Court.
  2. A five-judge Constitution Bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi unanimously held that a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste in one State cannot be deemed to be a Scheduled Caste person in relation to any other State to which he migrates for the purpose of employment or education.
  3. The benefits of reservation provided for by the Constitution would stand confined to the geographical territories of a State/Union Territory.
  4. This is in respect to which the lists of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes have been notified by the Presidential Orders issued from time to time.

Dissenting opinion

  1. But Justice Banumathi, in a separate opinion, dissented with the majority opinion on the point that the pan-India reservation rule for Delhi was fully in accord with the constitutional structure of a federal polity.
  2. She said the very object of the constitutional scheme of upliftment of the SCs/STs of these Union Territories would be defeated if pan-India reservation is allowed in Union Territories like Delhi.
  3. However she agreed that reservation should be State-specific.
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