Why Chhattisgarh High Court Quashed Reservation For Women?

Chhattisgarh HC On Reservation For Women
The State government in Chhattisgarh promised reservation for women up to 100% of seats as teaching faculty and assistant professors in nursing institutions. The Chhattisgarh HC quashed this decision. 

This reservation was sought under Article 15 of the Indian Constitution. Article 15 clause 3 of the Indian Constitution allows the legislature to make ‘special provisions’ for women and children. 

The bench that passed the constitution consisted of Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Narendra Kumar Vyas. 

The judgement passed by this bench quashed the reservation for women granted by the State because it sought protection under Article 15(3). The judges conveyed that ‘special provisions’ listed under Article 15(3) cannot be taken as the equivalent of public employment opportunities. 

Article 16(2) of the Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination to be made on the ground of sex. Therefore, seeking reservation for women interpreting it as the ‘special provisions’ listed under Article 15 would directly violate Article 16(2) of the Indian Constitution. 

However, Article 16(4) makes provisions for the reservations of backward classes in India. The judges conveyed that Article 16(4) is read along with Article 16(2) with matters regarding employment. Additionally, they conveyed that both clauses of the same article do not allow for discrimination on the grounds of ‘sex’. 

Chhattisgarh HC On Reservation For Women

Advocate Ghanshyam Kashyap appeared as the petitioner for the State arguing that the State was protected under Article 15(3) to give 100% reservation for women. The Chhattisgarh HC rejected this argument.

While passing the judgement the bench recalled the judgement passed on the Indra Sawhney case before stating its views. 

The finding from the Sawhney case acknowledged women as a vulnerable section of society. Therefore the judges held that a separate quota can cater to reservations for a vulnerable section. However, this quota of reservation for vulnerable candidates is not provided under Article 16(4), and the parliament has to provide for it separately. 

The judges stated that all women cannot be recognised as backward-class citizens in India. 

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