The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill that seeks to restore the power of states and Union Territories to prepare and maintain their own list of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs). The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed by the House with 385 members voting in its favour and none against in the final division. Once passed by both the houses, the amendment will reverse a recent Supreme Court verdict by giving back power to the respective states and UTs to notify their respective SEBC lists.
n a rare show of government-opposition unity for the business of Lok sabha this Monsoon session, the opposition parties decided to "cooperate" with the government in passing of the much anticipated bill by suspending their protest in the House for the bill to be passed.
What is The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021?
The statement of objects and reasons of the bill states that there always existed separate lists of Central Government and that of the state governments and Union territories pertaining to SEBCs since 1993.
It said that a question has arisen after enactment of the Constitution (One Hundred and Second Amendment) Act, 2018 as to whether the amendments mandated for a single Central List of SEBCs specifying the SEBCs for each state and had taken away the powers of the states to prepare and maintain a separate state list.
The objective of the bill calls to "adequately clarify that the states and Union territories are empowered to prepare and maintain their own lists of SEBCs (Socially and Educationally Backward Classes".
While responding to the demands for increasing reservation beyond 50 per cent, the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar said that the government understands the feelings of members. He said the courts have repeatedly emphasised this ceiling and there is a need to give attention to the constitutional aspects.