Deposit penalty within two weeks: SC tells Telangana state government

The costs were imposed because the then government had issued the GO to provide 100 per cent reservations New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Telangana state government two weeks to pay the Rs 2.5 lakh costs imposed on April 22, 2020, after a five-judge Constitution bench had quashed a year 2000 government order issued by the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh government providing for 100 per cent reservation of teachers posts for Scheduled Tribes in schools located in predominantly tribal areas. The costs were imposed because the then government had issued the GO to provide 100 per cent reservations though the Supreme Court had earlier struck it down. The top court while quashing GO Ms No. 3 of 2000 imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh which was divided equally between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Andhra Pradesh has deposited the cost with the top court registry. A vacation bench comprising Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Aniruddha Bose said that failure of the Telangana government to depost the cost would be viewed “very seriously”, and indicated that it may haul up the Chief Secretary for not complying with its order passed more than two years ago. Advocate Akansha Mehra appearing for the Telangana government said that they had filed a review petition. The bench asked how that would stall compliance of an order passed by the court. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra (since retired) and comprising Justice Indira Banerjee, Justice Vineet Saran (since retired), Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Aniruddha Bose had said that 100 per cent reservation for Scheduled Tribes in teachers posts in the schools located predominantly tribal areas was not permissible. No reservation could exceed the limit of 50 per cent as fixed by the top court in the Indra Sawhney case on November 16, 1992. The top court imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh saying that it could not ignore the fact that a similar government order was issued in 1986, which was quashed by the State Administrative Tribunal, against which an appeal was preferred in the top court, which was dismissed as withdrawn in the year 1998. After withdrawal of the appeal from the top court, the judgment said, “It was expected of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh not to resort to such illegality of providing 100% reservation once again. But instead, it issued GO Ms No. 3 of 2000, which was equally impermissible...”

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