Ankit Gupta here talks about the reservations for migrant Scheduled Castes And Scheduled Tribes.


The issue dealt with in the present article is whether the migrant Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) members are entitled to benefits of the reservation policy in the State of their migration. This question has come up in the recent case of State of Uttaranchal v. Sandeep Kumar Singh. It is submitted that the migrant SC and ST candidates should be able to avail the benefits of the reservation policy of the states to which they have migrated. Any reservation policy framed by the state which seeks to exclude the migrant candidates would be invalid because it would be based solely on the criteria of place of birth and hence would be violative of Article 16. Moreover, Articles 341-342 are only for the purpose of specifying the list of SCs and STs in each State and should not be interpreted to mean that the lists would be considered to be valid only for that State alone. Any reservation policy which seeks to exclude the migrant SC and ST from its purview would also be violative of the Basic Structure of the Constitution. This is a multi layered argument since three principles of the Basic Structure Doctrine would be violated: the overarching Principle of Equality, which would be violated due to the treatment of migrant SC and ST in the same category as the general category members of the State and hence resulting in the treatment of unequals as equals; the Golden Triangle of Articles 14, 19 and 21 would be violated since the right to freely reside and the right to development will be hampered due to lack of reservation benefits in the State of migration; the principle of Harmonious Construction of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles which requires that Article 46 and Article 16 be read to mean that the reservation benefits be given regardless of the State.