July 29, 2021 8:45:18 am
The Madras High Court on Wednesday did not stay the operation of a government order providing 10.5 per cent internal reservation exclusively for Vanniyars in the state.
Instead, the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy adjourned to August second week, further hearing on the batch of PIL petitions challenging the government order.
The adjournment followed a submission from Advocate-General R Shanmugasundaram that similar petitions challenging the reservation policy of the state government were pending before the Supreme Court and they are likely to come up for hearing in the first week of next month.
Earlier, the Chief Justice told the AG that he would not hesitate to stay the GO if the government goes ahead with its implementation even before he decides on the PIL petitions challenging its validity.
The counsel for one of the petitioners made an urgent mention raking up the issue.
The petitions challenged the legislation passed by the previous AIADMK government, headed by then Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, providing 10.5 per cent reservation to Vanniyars, just before the model code of conduct came into force in March.
He alleged that if the GO was allowed to be implemented, all the petitions challenging its validity would become infructuous.
The bench told the counsel they would hear the petitions in the course of 10 days or so. However, it warned that if the government goes on to implement the GO before the court decides its validity, he would stay its operation.
The court directed the AG to obtain instructions from the government and adjourned the hearing for a few hours.
In the afternoon, the AG told the judges that the GO would not, in any manner, affect the prospects of the members of the other MBCs in the reservation category.
Moreover, nearly half-a-dozen similar cases are pending before the apex court, he pointed out.
The PILs contended that if the reservation was allowed to be implemented, Vanniyars and other sub-castes coming under “Vanniyakula Kshatriya” community would enjoy exclusive 10.5 per cent reservation in admission to higher education and government services, while other 25 castes under MBC and 68 under denotified communities will have to share a meagre seven per cent of the remaining quota.
It would create enmity among the communities falling under MBC category, the petitioners further contended.
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