Part XVI of the Indian Constitution provides special provisions for certain classes including scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and Anglo-Indians. While Article 330 of the Constitution provides for the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People, Article 332 provides for reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the legislative assembly of the states.
However, Article 334 in the same chapter limits these special provisions for a period of 70 years from the date of commencement of Indian Constitutions.
While introducing the constitutional amendment bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that though scheduled castes and scheduled tribes have made considerable progress in the last 70 years but they still need these special provisions.
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“The reasons which weighed with the Constituent Assembly in making provisions with regard to the aforesaid reservation of seats have not yet ceased to exist,” law minister Ravi Shakar Prasad told the Lok Sabha.
The time limit set by Article 334 of the Constitution is going to expire on January 25, 2020. Though this sunset clause will not affect the existing members but further reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies will not be possible.
“Therefore, with a view to retaining the inclusive character as envisioned by the founding fathers of the Constitution, it is proposed to continue the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes for another ten years i.e. up to 25th January 2030,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The 126th Constitutional Amendment Bill seeks to extend this special provision of reservation of seats for members of SC/ST communities by another 10 years till January 25, 2030.
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