The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a Madras High Court verdict quashing a law that provided 10.5% reservation to Vanniyar community under the Most Backward Classes category in Tamil Nadu, in government jobs and admission to educational institutions.
A Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Bhushan R Gavai said: "We are of the opinion that there is no substantial basis for treating the Vanniyar community differently and as a separate group compared to the remaining 115 communities within the MBC. Thus, the 2021 Act is ultra vires to Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution."
The apex court had earlier refused to refer the matter to a larger bench. It, however, held that the state government had the legislative competence to pass a legislation extending the quota to the Vanniyar community.
On December 16 last year, the Bench had agreed to hear a plea by the Tamil Nadu Government and others, challenging the high court judgment. The High Court had struck down special reservation of seats for the Vanniyars, stating that the state government cannot come out with such a legislation providing reservation to Vanniyars without any quantifiable data on population.