Dalit Youth Urges Supreme Court for Law to Block Quota Benefits for Kin of Legislators and Bureaucrats
The law student, whose PIL has been admitted by the top court, also says the resourceful section of the reserved categories should have the option to forgo the benefits of reservation so that the less-privileged can get relief.
Bhopal/Mandsaur: A Dalit law student has appealed to the Supreme Court for legislation to stop family members of lawmakers and bureaucrats from getting the benefits of reservation. The development comes against the backdrop of a swirling debate on the quota system in the country, particularly after the SC ruled this month that there is no fundamental right to reservations in appointments and promotions under articles 16(4) and 16(4A) of the Constitution.
The petitioner, 25-year-old Vikram Kumar Bagde, a native of Madhya Pradesh’s Neemuch town, is also of the view that just like people can voluntarily give up cooking gas and rail travel subsidy, the resourceful section of the reserved categories should have the option to forgo the benefits to ensure the 80% deprived community members can take much-needed advantage.
Bagde, whose father is a peon, says he never availed caste reservation after clearing class XII, made it through the law entrance examination as a general category candidate, and is currently a first-year LLB student in Rajiv Gandhi College, Mandsaur.
“I had filed the PIL with the Supreme Court on January 25 and it was admitted on February 2,” said Bagde, adding that the date of hearing is yet to be finalised by the court.
Explaining the reasons behind filing the public interest litigation, he said that children from affluent families are more likely to get selected in any entrance test or recruitment process owing to their well-funded preparations rather than someone from a less-privileged background. On this basis, he has urged the apex court to stop the kin of lawmakers and grade 1 government officers from availing the perks of reservation.
Citing his interactions with several politicians in Madhya Pradesh, Bagde said eligible legislators could continue to take advantage of reservation provisions in elections but their family members should be prevented from doing it in education and jobs.
The law student, who says he sees a dire need of reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes but doesn’t have much knowledge of quota provisions in his region, even tried surrendering his caste certificate but was purportedly told by several MPs and MLAs that no such clause exists.
“I have in my PIL urged the SC to ensure legislation to enable those who wish to shun reservation benefits on the lines of LPG subsidy and rail travel concessions,” said Bagde. He also argued that the race to grab reservation benefits is assuming dangerous proportions, triggering social tensions and divisions.
“Influential people from within the reserved categories should lead by example,” Bagde said, maintaining that this would inspire others to give up quota benefits.