Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mandal II Case: Government begins arguments

The Solicitor General, G.E.Vahanvati began his arguments today, giving an outline of his submissions and that of his colleagues. He identified 11 issues, and suggested that Mr.Parasaran would be answering the contentions of Mr.K.K.Venugopal, while Mr.Gopal Subramanium would answer those of Mr.P.P.Rao.

The major thrust of Mr.Vahanvati's submissions this morning was the contention that Articles 15(4) and 16(4) are not exceptions to Articles 15(1) and 16(1), but are emphatic statements of equality, as implicit in Articles 15(1) and 16(1). Both 15(4) and 16(4) begin with the expression, "Nothing in this Article...shall prevent the State". His suggestion was that this very expression is indicative of the emphatic character of this clause.

He also contended that the American doctrines of strict scrutiny and compelling necessity cannot apply to India.

He argued that caste can be the basis to identify class, as many backward castes are centered around certain backward occupations.

He was critical of the argument that many castes have been added to the list of OBCs as part of vote-bank politics, and suggested his compilation clearly shows that every inclusion and rejection of demand for inclusion, is based on objective grounds. As examples, he cited the case of inclusion of only Jats of Rajasthan (excluding two districts) by the NCBC and the Lingayats of Karnataka.

Inequality is easy, but equality is difficult. Equality involves surviving against the current.

I intend to go through Mr.Vahanvati's written submissions, so as to apprecitate his submissions better with the relevant case law.

4 comments:

ravi srinivas said...

Caste can be one of the identifying factors but should it be the only factor. What is the linkage between traditional occupation and social and educational backwardness.I dont understand asto what is meant by backward occupation. If taken to logical extreme it could mean that only those who follow traditional occupations that are also backward occupations that
result in social and educational
backwardness should be classified as backward classes.

ravi srinivas said...

Caste can be one of the identifying factors but should it be the only factor. What is the linkage between traditional occupation and social and educational backwardness.I dont understand asto what is meant by backward occupation. If taken to logical extreme it could mean that only those who follow traditional occupations that are also backward occupations that
result in social and educational
backwardness should be classified as backward classes.

Aditya Swarup said...

surprisingly, Khanna J., in State of Kerala v. NM Thomas, seems to be the only person who in his minority judgment states 16 (4) to be an exception to 16 (1).

IN the same case, the majority view expressed 16 (4) to be a way of achieving 16 (1) and harmoniously reading each other together.
In that since that was passed by a 7 judge bench, I dont know how much the arguments of the petitioners in this issue would stand.
M Nagaraj v. Union of India last year is also imp in this regard

Dorji Namgyal said...

It is precisely because 16(4) is NOT an exception to 16(2) [NOT 16(1)] that the Petitioners argument on 15(4) similarly not being an exception to 15(1) will stand.
If it were an exception, that would mean caste could in fact be a permitted criterion to determine Backward Classes. No judgment stands in the way.