Madras High Court declares Vanniyar reservation law unconstitutional
Madras High Court declares Vanniyar reservation law unconstitutional

The Madras High Court ruled on Monday that a law passed by the Tamil Nadu legislature providing 10.5 percent internal reservation to the Vanniakula Kshatriya community within the 20 percent reserved for the Most Backward Classes (MBCs) in education and public employment was unconstitutional.

A batch of writ petitions filed in the High Court's principal seat, as well as its Madurai Bench challenging the validity of a law, passed just hours before the model code of conduct came into effect in the State in February for the Assembly election were allowed by Justices M. Duraiswamy and K. Murali Shankar. Following the election, the incumbent government, led by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, implemented the law on admission to colleges.

The government, in a counter-affidavit filed before the Madras High Court in response to a large number of cases challenging the law, dismissed as "baseless" the allegations that the law was passed hastily, prior to the notification of the Assembly elections this year, in violation of the Legislative Assembly rules.

"In a democratic polity, an elected government cannot be barred from exercising its power to make a policy or legislate any law during its tenure/until the last minute it holds power to meet the public opinion at large," the government said, noting that one C.N. Ramamurthy had filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking internal reservation in 2010.

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