Accusing TRS Government of doing injustice with Backward Classes, TPCC Chief Spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan has approached the High Court seeking its intervention in ensuring scientific approach to reservation of seats for BC communities and its sub groups and compliance of statutory provisions in the forthcoming Panchayat Raj elections.
The Honorable High Court of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana accepted writ petition WP No. 477/ 2018 and Honorable Justice MS Ramchander Rao, after hearing both the versions today, directed the GP, government of Telangana to inform the court whether enumeration of BC population is being done and if so how it is being done. And the case is posted to Monday, 25th June, 2018.
Sravan requested the High Court to direct the government to ensure that the seats meant for BCs are sub divided among the sub-groups (BC A, B, C, D, E) through a scientific BC population enumeration. Referring to the petition, Sravan demanded that the Government of Telangana must avoid being biased towards BCs and ensure that statutory justice is done.
The petitioners, Dr. Dasoju Sravan and B. Ravindranath, filed a petition before the High Court stating that the authorities were not properly determining the reservation for backward classes, more specifically the allotment of the offices of the sarpanches and other posts of Panchyat Raj institutions in each district mandal, village level. They alleged that there was no data or information available as to the population of the backward classes at the state, district, mandal and village level. Further, they contended that there was total lack of information about the percentage of each sub-category of backward classes at all levels. Consequently, the total seats meant for BC community could not be sub-divided among the five groups as also directed by the court.
As per Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, the BC communities are entitled for 34% reservation, As per existing present, 29% reservation in education and education sectors, the reservation is sub-divided among five groups of A – 7% (Aboriginal Tribes, Vimukthijatis, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Orphans etc.,); B – 10% (Vocation Groups); C – 1% (SC converts into Christianity); D – 7% (Other Backward Classes) and E – 4% (Socially and educationally backward classes among Muslims). Sravan alleged in his petition that Telangana government did not provide any clarity as how this reservations for BC subcategories is implemented though very clear judgments were given by supreme court and as well by high court of Andhra Pradesh in various occasions.
Sravan said that the conjoint reading of Article 15(4) along with Section 2(1) of the Act makes it clear that backward classes for the purposes of the Act would be as BC-A, BC-B, BC-C, BC-D and BC-E as a corollary the 34% reservation for backward classes provided under Section 17(4) would have be allocated among these sub-categories proportionally. This is not being done now in the present elections, he said.
Sravan also expressed in his petition that there are serious contradictions and confusions in the panchayat raj act and the way BC population is being estimated. While under Section 13 of Panchayat Act, the government talks of doing enumeration of BC voters, the Section 17 intends to allocate the percentage of reservation based on the percentage of population. Subsequently, the government is taking into consideration the BC population figures projected by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics. These contradictions are leading to gross injustice to all BCs.
Sravan alleged that government is not doing any BC population enumeration, except media reports of such exercises, the government agencies did not place any information in the public domain relating to this exercise,” he said and also complained that the authorities did not furnish the information sought under the Right to Information Act. He said reservations made in favour of BCs based on erroneous and cursory estimation of their population were challenged in 1987, 2006 and 2012. The High Court of Andhra Pradesh had also directed that these reservations should be reviewed from time to time,” he said in the petition.
Sravan appealed to the State Government to conduct a door-to-door survey to get the real number of BCs, along with their sub-categories. He also claimed that this exercise could be completed in not more than 10 days.
“In the absence of such an exercise being undertaken the allotment of seats reserved for backward classes and their sub categories at the mandal and district village level would be subject to wholesale manipulation and result in gerrymandering of constituencies by virtue of ensuring that seats which should be reserved for the backward classes are left open for others to participate in the said elections resulting in violation of the letter and spirit of reservation process set out under the Act. The allotment to sub groups also will suffer. Any wholesale reservation being accorded to an omnibus backward classes constituency would not be in accordance with Section 17 of the Act inasmuch as a reading of provisions would clearly show that the reservations under Section 17 would have to be made category-wise of the backward classes as mentioned above and in the proportion of reservation that would be available to them in the total 34% available to BCs,” he said.