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Parliament passes( 126th Amendment) bill to extend SC-ST reservation quota

  • IASbaba
  • December 13, 2019
  • 0
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PARLIAMENT

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Parliament passes( 126th Amendment) bill to extend SC-ST reservation quota

Context:

  • Parliament recently passed a Constitution amendment bill to extend quota to SCs and STs in LokSabha and state assemblies by another 10 years.
  • Govt also asserted that the Central government will never stop the reservation system 
  • Also Revoked  the provision for nomination of Anglo-Indians to the LokSabha and 14 state Assemblies
  • The bill would now be sent to the states for ratification by 50 per cent of the assemblies before it comes into force.

Background

  • Reservation for members of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), given for the past 70 years in the LokSabha and state assemblies, is due to end on January 25, 2020. 
  • The reservation for Anglo-Indians in the form of “nomination” is set to expire on January 25 2020  as the bill does not extend the facility to the community.

Amendment of the Constitution

  • Amending the Constitution of India is the process of making changes to the nation’s fundamental law or supreme law.
  • The procedure of amendment in the constitution is laid down in Part XX (Article 368) of the Constitution of India which ensures the sanctity of the Constitution of India and keeps a check on arbitrary power of the Parliament of India.
  • There have been conflicts between the Supreme Court and Parliament, where Parliament wants to exercise discretionary use of power to amend the constitution while the Supreme Court wants to restrict that power. 
  • This has led to the laying down of various doctrines; the most famous among them is the Basic structure doctrine as laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala.

Procedure

  • An amendment of the Constitution can be initiated only by the introduction of a Bill in either House of Parliament. 
  • The Bill must then be passed in each House by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting.(special majority)
  • There is no provision for a joint sitting in case of disagreement between the two Houses. 
  • The Bill, passed by the required majority, is then presented to the President who shall give his assent to the Bill.
  • If the amendment seeks to make any change in any of the provisions mentioned in the provision to article 368, it must be ratified by the Legislatures of not less than one-half of the States. 
  • Although there is no prescribed time limit for ratification, it must be completed before the amending Bill is presented to the President for his assent

Do you know?

  • Parliament is free to enact any number of constitutional amendments in any given year. Although Parliament must preserve the basic framework of the Constitution, there is no other limitation placed upon the amending power, meaning that there is no provision of the Constitution that cannot be amended.
  • Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) are among the most disadvantaged socio-economic groups in India. Hence, the Government of India has enacted progressive legislation, programmes and schemes for the development and empowerment of the SCs and STs. 
  • Article 366(2) of the Constitution Of India states: “An Anglo-Indian means a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent but who is domiciled within the territory of India and is or was born within such territory of parents habitually resident therein and not established there for temporary purposes only…”

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think Supreme Court needs to decide whether ‘creamy layer’ norms can be extended to SCs & STs ?

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