The Supreme Court Tuesday issued notices to the Centre, states and the Election Commission on a batch of petitions, challenging the Constitution (95th Amendment) Act, 2009, extending by 10 years the reservation of constituencies for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Lok Sabha and state legislatures.
A Constitution bench led by CJI R M Lodha sought fresh responses after it was noticed that the previous replies by the parties pertained to the earlier amendment.
The five-judge Constitution bench was set up to examine the validity of the 79th constitutional Amendment Act which substituted ‘’50 years’’ with ‘’60 years’’ in Article 334. Article 334 deals with reservation of seats and special representation in Lok Sabha and the Assemblies. Effective January 25, 2000, the reservation was extended for 10 more years.
Prior to this amendment, the reservations were effective till 2000. Aggrieved by the amendment, one Mirza Rafiullah Baig challenged the validity of the Constitution (79th Amendment) Act, 1999.
Subsequently, other petitioners also moved the court, contending they were also duly registered voters and were fully qualified and eligible to contest, except for the reason that their constituency was reserved for the members of SCs.
They claimed that since the Amendment Act deprives the democratic rights of the petitioners, inasmuch as it is violative of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution, it deserves to be struck down.