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Written by: Prashant Jaiswal (Intern)

Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)

INTRODUCTION

Apex Court in a recent judgment held that an individual from a reserved category is eligible for claiming benefits from either of the successor state of Bihar or Jharkhand state but is not allowed to claim the benefit in both the successor state concurrently. Court further added if the reservation is granted in both the states simultaneously, it will defeat the mandate of Articles 341(1) and 342(1) given under the Indian Constitution.

Article 341(1) deals with the president power in respect to state or Union Territory to specify about the castes, races or tribes or parts of or groups within castes, races or tribes which shall for the Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Castes in relation to that State, through public notification. Whereas article 342(1) talks about the scheduled tribe in which the president will specify all the tribal communities in a state or U.T. through public notification.

People who are part of the reserved category and have domicile of the successor State of Bihar, while taking part in open selection in the state of Jharkhand, will be considered under the general category. They can join as a general candidate and can’t claim the reservation under other categories and vice-versa.

BIFURCATION OF BIHAR IN 2000

In 2000, the Bihar Reorganisation Act was passed by the Parliament of India. Both the houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha give assent to the bill on 2 August and 11 August respectively and finally a new state is created, Jharkhand, on 15 November 2000. Jharkhand is earlier a part of Bihar and form as a new state after the Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000. The reason behind the bifurcation of Bihar is that tribals demand a separate state for their development.

OBSERVATION OF COURT

The bench led by justice UU Lalit and Ajay Rastogi observed while overruling the judgment of the Jharkhand high court in the case of Pankaj Kumar v. State of Jharkhand and others. Earlier a single bench granted reservation to the appellant in the SC category in Jharkhand state. Later division bench refused it after an appeal by the state.

Court pointed out that the president has the power to specify caste, tribe and race with respect to any state after examining the disadvantages faced and social backwardness of the community, thereof president specify the whole state or some part of the state when he is satisfied by the justification of educational hardships or backwardness of the race, caste or tribes.

Court further added that the Constitution Bench decision of the apex court has refused the claim that the individual of SC or ST tribe should get the benefit throughout the territory for the purpose of the constitution, and observed that if such claim is accepted, the expression β€˜in relation to State’ will lose its importance.

The bench observed that according to the provisions of the Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000, those persons who have a domicile of Bihar on or before 15 November 2000 and now come under the district of the Jharkhand, successor state as per Section 3 of the Act, 2000 will be treated as an ordinary citizen of the Jharkhand state.

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