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Analysis: Constitution 127th Amendment Bill, 2021

Analysis: Constitution 127th Amendment Bill, 2021

Written By Komal Sharma

Both the Houses of Parliament have respectively passed the Constitutional 127th Amendment Bill with the utmost majority to nullify the Supreme Court Judgement on the Maratha Quota Case and to clarify the uncertainties regarding the 102nd Amendment Bill. The 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Constitution to allow States and Union Territories to prepare their own list of socially and educationally backward classes.

The 127th Amendment Bill is a result of the interpretation made by the Constructional Bench of the Supreme Court in the judgment of the Maratha Quota Case with 3:2 majority stating that the state lacks the power to notify Social and Economic Backward Classes after the 102nd Constitutional Amendment and that such power resides with the President of India. The 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act 2018 gave constitutional status to the NCBC and empowered the President to notify the list of socially and educationally backward classes for any State or Union Territory for all purposes. Hence, the present bill was introduced in the parliament to restore the power of State and UTs to determine and to prepare their own list and to notify the Social and Economic Backward Classes.

The 127th Amendment Bill proposes to amend Article 342A to introduce Article 342 A(3) to empower the state to make their own SEBC list and to state that the power of the President is to specify the SEBCs only for the Central List for the purposes of the Central Government enabling the State and Union Territories to determine their own list to differ it from that of the central list.

There also will be a consequential amendment in Articles 366(26c) and 338B (9). Article 366(26c) determines the SEBCs and Article 338B of the Constitution mandated both the Central and State Governments to consult the NCBC on all primary matters affecting the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes. The bill now enables the states to directly notify SEBCs without having to refer it to the National Commission for Backward Classes which got a constitutional status in 2018 with the 102nd amendment.

The purpose of the bill firstly is to restore the power of the States, which was nullified by the SC Maratha Quota Judgement, secondly and majorly to maintain the federal structure of the country and thirdly to protect the right of the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes mark ably the rights of the OBC.

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