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President on 18th August 2021 gave consent to The Constitution (One Hundred and Fifth Amendment) Act, 2021 which restores the power of State Governments to identify and specify Socially and Economically Backward classes (SEBCs)

The One hundredth and twenty-seventh amendment) Bill 2021 was passed by the Parliament on 11th August 2021.

The act makes the following Changes to the constitution:-

1. (1) This Act may be called the Constitution (One Hundred and Fifth Amendment) Act, 2021.

(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

2. In article 338B of the Constitution, in clause (9), the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:— “Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply for the purposes of clause (3) of article 342A.”.

3. In article 342A of the Constitution,— (a) in clause (1), for the words “the socially and educationally backward classes which shall for the purposes of this Constitution”, the words “the socially and educationally backward classes in the Central List which shall for the purposes of the Central Government” shall be substituted;

(b) after clause (2), the following shall be inserted, namely:—

‘Explanation.— For the purposes of clauses (1) and (2), the expression “Central List” means the list of socially and educationally backward classes prepared and maintained by and for the Central Government. (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in clauses (1) and (2), every State or Union territory may, by law, prepare and maintain, for its own purposes, a list of socially and educationally backward classes, entries in which may be different from the Central List.’.

4. In article 366 of the Constitution, for clause (26C), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:—

‘(26C) “socially and educationally backward classes” means such backward classes as are so deemed under Article 342A for the purposes of the Central Government or the State or Union territory, as the case may be.’.

The amendment was introduced after the Maratha Quota case, in which A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court held by 3:2 Majority that state lakes the power to identify and specify SEBCs after the 102nd Constitutional Amendment and that such power was with the president of India. The 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act had introduced Articles 338B and 342A in the constitution. Article 338B deals with the newly established National Commission for Backward classes, and Article 342A empowers the President to specify the socially and educationally backward communities in a state. The Supreme Court’s verdict was against the stand of the central government that “ The 102nd Constitutional Amendment did not affect the power of the state in identifying and specifying SEBCs”. The review petition was also dismissed by the Supreme Court in this regard.

Thereafter, the Union introduced the 127th Constitution amendment bill 2021, which was passed by the parliament on 11th August 2021 and received assent of the President on the 18th August 2021.


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