Lok Sabha approves Constitutional Amendment Bill to extend quota for SC/STs in legislatures

By: |
December 10, 2019 8:56 PM

The bill extends the reservation of seats for SC/STs in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies by another 10 years.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, 126th Constitutional Amendment BillLaw minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the bill.

Reseravation of seats for SC/STs: Lok Sabha on Tuesday cleared the 126th constitutional amendment bill to extend the reservation of seats for the members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies by another 10 years. It was imperative for the Union government to pass the constitutional amendment bill in the ongoing winter session as the 70 year period stipulated by Article 334 was set to expire the next month.

Now the bill will be presented to the Rajya Sabha which also needs to pass it with a majority of its total members and two-third of the members present and voting, thereafter it will amend the Constitution after receiving the Presidential assent.

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to extend the reservation of SC/ST seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies by another 10 years, i.e. till January 20, 2030.

Part XVI of Indian Constitution provides for 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 Peope, Article 332 provides for reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the legislative assemblies of the states.

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Article 334 of the Constitution provided for reservation of seats for SC/STs in the house of people and state assemblies for a period of 70 years from the date of commencement of the constitution. These provisions will cease to have effect on the 25th January, 2020, if not extended further, said law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the Lok Sabha while elaborating the need to pass the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Part XVI of Indian Constitution provides for 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 Peope, Article 332 provides for reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the legislative assemblies 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 that was set to expire on January 20, 2020. The bill passed by the Lok Sabha today will extend these provisions by another 10 years, i.e. till January 20, 2030.

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The bill is expected to have a smooth sailing in the Rajya Sabha unlike the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 which has sharply divided the ruling bloc and the opposition.

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