Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said the sole aim of his government is to render justice to the SC/ST communities, and the process of including the quota hike decision in the ninth schedule of the Constitution has started.
The CM was quoted as saying this while speaking at the inauguration of 'Janajagruthi Jathra Mahotsav' organised as part of Sri Maharshi Valmiki Jathra Mahotsav, in Davangere, by his office in a statement on Thursday. "Justice has been done to the oppressed communities as per Justice Nagmohan Das Commission report. While the reservation for the SC community has been hiked from 15 to 17 per cent and for the Scheduled Tribe community it is up from 3 per cent to 7 per cent. This will benefit the youths of those two communities in jobs and education," Bommai noted.
Mere speech will not ensure social justice, he said adding the incumbent government has implemented the hiked quota and it is being followed in government recruitment. The Karnataka Legislature during the legislature session in Belagavi in December had passed a bill to hike the reservation for Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (SC/STs) in the state.
The Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or posts in the services under the state) Bill, 2022, increased reservation for SCs from 15 to 17 per cent and for STs from 3 to 7 per cent. The State Cabinet on October 8 accorded its formal approval to increase the SC/ST quota, and had subsequently issued an ordinance in this regard.
The decision to increase SC/ST quota was following the recommendation from a commission headed by a retired judge of Karnataka High Court Justice H N Nagamohan Das. The opposition parties had supported the passage of the bill, but were skeptical about the government’s intention with the implementation, as the hike in the reservation will breach the 50 per cent ceiling fixed by the Supreme Court in the 1992 Indra Sawhney case.
With the quota hike decision yet to be ring-fenced under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, leaving it vulnerable, as it takes the reservation tally in Karnataka to 56 percent, the opposition parties had been questioning the government as to how they would implement it. The inclusion under the ninth schedule of the Constitution is to be done through a constitutional amendment.