Context:A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court recently held that providing 100% reservation for tribal teachers in schools located in Scheduled Areas across the country is unconstitutional.


  • The five-judge Bench was answering a reference made to it in 2016 on whether 100% reservation is permissible under the Constitution.
  • More about the case involved:
    • The aforesaid case stemmed from a legal challenge to January 10, 2000 order issued by the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh Bench providing 100% reservation to the Scheduled Tribe candidates.
    • Out of total seats,the order of the state had also reserved 33.1/3% seats for women, for the post of teachers in schools located in the Scheduled Areas of the State.
    • The 2000 notification of the state was given retrospective effect to bring to life to its predecessor of 1986.

Recent Judgement of the SC

  • Court said that 100% reservation is discriminatory and impermissible
  • The opportunity of public employment is not the prerogative of few. 
  • Other backward sections are also neglected:A 100% reservation to the Scheduled Tribes has deprived Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes of their due representation. 
  • The Supreme court also referred to the Indira Sawhney judgment

Few earlier related judgements

Indira Sawhney case

  • It has put a cap of 50% on reservation.
  • Backward class of citizens in Article 16(4) can be identified on the basis of the caste system & not only on economic basis.

M Nagraj case

  • The 50% reservation limit ensures equality of opportunity.


Image Source:TH