New Delhi: The Supreme Court today sought responses from the government and the Election Commission on a plea seeking “re-adjustment” of reserved parliamentary and assembly seats for scheduled castes and tribes in the wake of inclusion of more castes in SC category in 2002 and 2007. A bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra issued notice on a PIL that also sought directions to the Centre and the poll panel to provide “appropriate reservation” for SCs in the upcoming Punjab assembly polls. The bench was hearing plea filed by one Puran Singh through his lawyer Deepak Anand, which sought re-adjustment of parliamentary and assembly constituencies for SCs/STs for all the states.
Citing constitutional provisions on reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in Parliament and state assemblies, the PIL urged: “Issue a writ directing respondents to provide for appropriate reservation to SC/ST under Article 330 taking into account the census figures of 2011.” “By virtue of SCs and STs Orders (Amendment) Act, 2002 and 2007 passed by Parliament, several castes which were hitherto not included in the list of SC were included as SCs by virtue of the said Acts. Resultantly, the population of the SCs has increased considerably due to such inclusion.
“However, despite inclusion of such castes as SCs by a mandate of Parliament, the Centre and Election Commission of India have not carried out their consequential constitutional obligations to reflect the change and grant proportional representation to them,” the plea said. Those scheduled castes, which were included by the 2002 and 2007 amendment Acts, were supposed to be included in 1950 itself and hence, they are “sufferer and further delay will cause more suffering”, it said.