COMMITTEES & COMMISSIONS ON CATEGORIZATION OF SC RESERVATIONS
B.N. Lokur Committee-1965:
In June 1965 a committee was appointed by the Central Government to advice on revision of the existing lists of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, under the Chairmanship of B.N. Lokur, the Law Secretary. The Lokur Committee reported promptly on August 25, 1965.
They concluded that the time has come when the question of de-scheduling of relatively advanced communities should receive serious and urgent consideration. The Committee devoted most of its attention to many technical changes in the lists, including a number of minor exclusions and inclusions. On major de-scheduling, they cautiously put forward a list of communities adjudged to be “relatively forward”. The Committee recommended to de-schedule 14 Scheduled Tribes and 28 Scheduled Castes depending on their development.
The B.N.Lokur committee decided the Mala community in A.P. is advanced and the committee recommended for De-Scheduling the Mala community from SC list in A.P which is the best example for the facts of Mala community advancement In 1965.
Justice P.Ramachandra Raju Commission-1996:
The Govt. of AP was appointed one-man commission, with Justice P Ramachandra Raju on 10-9-1996, to study the implementation of reservations among SC’s and its impact on their development in education and employment fields. The commission confirmed the existence of disparities among the SCs in availing of reservations in the fields of education and employment has recommended for classification of SCs to avail the reservation facilities according to their population.
Justice P. Ramachandra Raju took 9 months to conduct his enquiry to submit his report . He visited different parts of the state. He obtained information from various departments working under state government. He has submitted his report on 28-05-1997.
The recommendations of the Commission were approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of AP without any objections/ modifications. When the same was placed before the Legislative Assembly, it was unanimously accepted. Even outside the Assembly, all political parties in the ‘all party meeting’ have unanimously supported categorization as recommended by the Commission. The Honorable High Court in its judgment “viewed that categorization having been made on intelligible and discernible differentia, and the act having been passed for rationalization of reservation for SCs is valid. Even the Honorable Supreme Court did not make any adverse comments on the tenacity of the basis, methodology, data, observations, and recommendations the report.
The commission has divided the SCs into four groups on the basis of their backwardness and composition of their population.
Justice Usha Mehra Commission-2007:
Justice Usha Mehra was appointed on 21-5-2007 by the Central Govt. at the instance of the State Government after the Supreme Court struck down classification of SCs. Justice Usha Mehra, head of the commission studied the issue of classification of Scheduled Castes for purposes of reservations. She submitted report to Union Minister for Social Justice Meera Kumar in New Delhi on 1-5-2008. The commission had favoured classification and recommended a Constitutional amendment in this direction.
This commission is of the view that in order to give effective representations to the various castes, races, or tribes of scheduled castes in relation to a state or UT, the constitution of India may be amended to provide for sub-categorisation / micro classification of various castes or groups included in the list of scheduled caste vide article 341(1)&(2). It may be provided by the said constitutional amendment that the sub-categorisation / micro classification shall be done by the parliament by law on the basis of recommendations made by the legislature of a state by way of a unanimous resolution to the effect as to what percentage of reservation should be given to various castes, races or tribes of scheduled castes included in the list specified in a notification under article 341 for the purpose of reservation in the services of the states as well as in the educational institutions.
It may also be provided by the said amendment that the state legislature shall make such recommendations on the basis of the data collected by it through a judicial commission to be headed at least by a sitting or retired high court judge. The commission shall collect the data regarding representations of various castes, races or tribes of the scheduled castes in the services of the state as well as in educational institutions. The judicial commission and on its recommendations, the state legislature shall indicate specifically as to what percentage of reservation benefits shall be given to which caste, races or tribes of scheduled caste or part of or group within in any caste, races or tribes thereof on their population ratio.
The commission thus recommends that article 341 of the constitution of India be amended and clause (3) thereto be added as under “341(3) parliament may be by law provide for sub categorization or de sub categorization of caste, race or tribe of part of or group within any caste, race, or tribe specified in a notification issued under clause (1) or by law made by parliament under clause (2), upon receiving a resolution from legislature of a state / U.T passed unanimously.”