On 8th September, the Kerala High Court comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly directed the state and Central Governments to finalize socio-economic caste survey to revamp the reservation quota at the earliest. The division bench directed that the Governments should finalize the survey at the earliest and submit the report to Kerala State Commission for Backward Classes. “The Commission should finalize the exercise and submit report to the state government within six months,” the court directed.
The court considered Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate VK Beeran as Chairman of Minority Indians Planning and Vigilance Commission Trust based at Aluva. The petitioner has contended that the State Government is bound to revise the list of backward classes every ten years as per Section 11 of the Kerala State Commission for the Backward Classes Act, 1993. It was alleged, by not revising the list, the government is allowing the forward among the backward classes to snatch away the benefit of reservation.
In an interim order issued in July last year, the High Court had said the inaction of the State Government in conducting the Socio-Economic Caste Survey, prima facie, shows its failure in adhering to its statutory obligation under Section 11 of the Kerala State Backward Classes Act, 1993 which requires a periodic revision of the State’s OBC list.
Socio-Economic Caste Survey, which is a precondition for undertaking a revision, has also not been conducted, the court had pointed out. The provisions of the 1993 Act stipulate that the list of backward classes should be revised periodically so that those backward classes that are not adequately represented in the services under the government get the benefit of the reservation.