State of Madras Vs Smt.Champakam Dorairajan
Case Name : State of Madras Vs Smt.Champakam Dorairajan
PETITIONER : State of Madras
RESPONDENT : Smt.Champakam Dorairajan
CASE NO : AIR1951 Supreme Court 226
DATE OF JUDGEMENT : 1951
JUDGES : S. R. Das J
INTRODUCTION : This is one of the landmark judgement given by the Supreme Court of India in context to amendment of our Constitution. This case led to the First Amendment of the Constitution of India. It was the first and the most important case regards to the reservation in Indian constitution. In its ruling the Supreme Court upheld the Madras High Court verdict, which in turn had struck down the Communal Government Order (G.O) passed in 1927 in the Madras Presidency. The Communal G.O had provided caste based reservation in government jobs and college seats. The Supreme Court’s verdict held that providing such reservations was in violation of Article 16 (2) of the Indian Constitution. Article 16 (2) says that No citizen can be discriminated as per religion, caste, race, sex, place of birth etc for employment in any office under the state. It was this judgment that necessitated the Constitution First Amendment, which added Clause (4) to Article 15. (It was later found that the woman had filed the writ petition under a false affidavit)
ISSUE : On behalf of the petitioner, the learned Advocate-General appearing for the State focused that the provisions of this article have to be read along with other articles in the Constitution. He highlighted the point that Article 46 of Indian Constitution, on the other hand, have givent he charge to the state to keep special provision on category base to help the backward community specially the Schedule Caste and the Schedule Tribe. It is also said as per Article 46 that these backward category should be saved from the social exploitation and hence to have special care for them is also the responsibility of the state so that they may get admission to colleges and institutes. It is pointed out that although this article finds a place in Part IV of the Constitution which lays down certain directive principles of State policy and though the provisions contained in that Part are not enforceable by any Court, the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental for the governance of the country and article 37 makes it obligatory on the part of the State to apply those principles in making laws. The argument is that having regard to the provisions of article 46, the State is entitled to maintain the Communal G.O. fixing proportionate seats for different communities and if because of that Order, which is thus contended to be valid in law and not in violation of the Constitution, the petitioners are unable to get admissions into the educational institutions, there is no infringement of their fundamental rights. Indeed, the learned Advocate-General of Madras even contends that the provisions of article 46 override the provisions of article 29(2).
The claim of the respondent was focused on Article 16 (2) of the Indian Constitution which was against the discrimination of the Indian Citizen. Article 16 guarantees the fundamental right of equality of opportunity in matters of public employment and provides that no citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of any employment or office under the State also includes a specific clause in the following terms :-
Again Article 16(4) says “Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments of posts in favor of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State.”
. If the arguments founded on article 46 were sound then clause (4) of article 16 would have been wholly unnecessary and redundant. The protection of backward classes of citizens may require appointment of members of backward classes in State services and the reason why power has been given to the State to provide for reservation of such appointments for backward classes may under those circumstances be understood. That consideration, however, was not obviously considered necessary in the case of admission into an educational institution and that may well be the reason for the omission from article 29 of a clause similar to clause (4) of article 16.
FACTS : The provision that has been found in part III of the indian constitution shall have to be abidy by the directive principal of the state but it have to conform and run as subsidary to the Chapter of the fundamental rights. Hence, the argument that having regard to the provisions of Art. 46, the State is entitled to maintain the Communal G. O. fixing proportionate seats in State Colleges for different communities and if as a result certain individual citizens are unable to get admissions into the educational institutions, there is no infringement of their fundamental rights cannot be sustained.
The classification in the said Communal G. O. proceeds on the basis of religion, race and caste and is opposed to the Constitution and constitutes a clear violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizen under Art. 29 (2).
However, so long as there is no infringement of fundamental rights as conferred by Part III of the Constitution there can be no objection to the State acting according to the directive principles set out in Part IV subject to the legislative and executive powers and limitations conferred on the State under different provisions of the Constitution.
In the context of admission of students to the Engineering and Medical Colleges of the State, the Province of Madras had issued an order (known as the Communal G. O.) that seats should be filled in by the selection committee strictly on the basis of seat alloted for each catagory as per the order.The order mentioned out of every 14 seats, 6 were to be allotted to Non-Brahmin (Hindus), 2 to Backward Hindus, 2 to Brahmins, 2 to Harijans. 1 to Anglo-Indians and Indian Christians and 1 to Muslims.
On 7-6-1950, Smt. Champakam Dorairajan made an appeal to the H. C. of Judicature at Madras under Art. 226 of the Constitution for protection of her fundamental rights under Art.15 (1) and Art.29 (2) of the Constitution and prayed for the issue of a writ of mandamus or other suitable prerogative writ restraining the State of Madras and all officers and subordinates thereof from enforcing, observing, maintaining or following or requiring the enforcement, observance, maintenance or following by the authorities concerned of the notification or order generally, referred to as the Communal G. O. in and by which admissions into the Madras Medical Colleges were sought or purported to be regulated in such manner as to infringe and involve the violation of her fundamental rights. From the affidavit filed in support of her petition it does not appear that the petitioner had actually applied for admission in the Medical College. She states that on inquiry she came to know that she would not be admitted to the College as she belonged to the Brahmin community. No objection, however, was taken to the maintainability of her pettition on the ground of absence of any actual application for admission made by her. On the contrary, we have been told that the State had agreed to reserve a seat for her should her application before the H. C. succeed. In the peculiar circumstances, we do not consider it necessary to pursue this matter any further. But we desire to guard ourselves against being understood as holding that we approve of a person who has not actually applied for admission into an educational Institution coming to Ct. complaining of infringement of any fundamental right under Art. 29 (2). The H. C. by its judgment delivered on 2 7-7-1950 allowed this application of Smt. Champakam Dorairajan.
JUDGEMENT : This case came with a reference of another case : case No. 271 of 1951 (State of Madras v. C. R. Srinivasan) both are appeals from the judgment passed by the H. C. of Judicature at Madras on 27-7-1950. Both the case was under the bench of the same Justice. In both the case it was argued that the basic of fundamental rights have been hampered for having reservation as per category which is again against Article 16 (20 o the Indian Constitution. Again Article 226 of the Constitution complaining of breach of the petitioners’ fundamental right to get admission into educational institutions maintained by the State.
The State of Madras maintains four Medical Colleges and in those colleges only 330 seats are available for students. Out of these 330 seats, 17 seats are reserved for students coming from outside the State and 12 seats are reserved for discretionary allotment by the State and the balance of the seats available are apportioned between four distinct groups of districts in the State.
Again, in case of Engineering, the State of Madras maintains four Engineering Colleges and the total number of seats available for students in those Colleges are only 395. Out of these, 21 seats are reserved for students coming from outside the State, 12 seats are reserved for discretionary allotment by the State and the balance of the seats available are apportioned between the same four distinct groups of districts
But from Long ago before the commencement of the Constitution, the admission was done as per the communal G.O and in that case out of every 14 seats, the allotment was : Non-Brahmins (Hindus)-6
Backward Hindus-2 , Brahmins-2 , Harijans-2 ,Anglo-Indians and Indian Christians-1 , Muslims-1.
The petitioner applied that inspite of having marks they are unable to get admission as some seats are specially reserved for some of the community, if it is not so classified then they may have get the admission . The fundamental right to get admission and chance to get education is being violated for this reservation.
Art.29 which occurs in part III of the Constitution under the head ‘Cultural and Educational Rights’ runs as follows :
“(1) Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.
(2) No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.”
The learned Advocate- General appearing for the State contends that the provisions of this Article have to be read along with other Articles in the Constitution. He urges that Art. 46 charges the State with promoting with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaken sections of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and with protecting them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation. It is pointed out that although this Article finds a place in Part IV of the Constitution which lays down certain directive principles of State policy and though the provisions contained in that Part are not enforceable by any Ct. the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental for the governance of the country and Art. 37 make it obligatory on the part of the State to apply those principles in making laws. Also in the next place it will be noticed that Article 16 which guarantees the fundamental right of equality of opportunity in matters of public employment and provides that no citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste , sex , descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of any employment or office under the State also includes a specific clauses in the following terms:
“(4) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments of posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State , is not adequately represented in the services under the State.” If the argument founded on Article 46 were sound then cl. (4) of Article 16 would have been wholly unnecessary and redundant. Seeing, however, that clause (4) was inserted in Article 16, the omission of such an express provision from Artrticle 29 cannot but be regarded as significant.
Taking the reference of the petitioner, Srinivasan, who mentioned for being Brahmin he is denied to get admission and he loose the chance as some of the seats have been reserved for other category and he cannot opt for those. Srinivasan mentioned he secured a much larger number of marks than the marks secured by many of the Non-Brahmin candidates and yet the Non. Brahmin candidates who secured less number of marks will be admitted into six out of every 14 seats but the petitioner Srinivasan will not be admitted into any of them.
It is argued that the petnrs. are not denied admission only because they are Brahmins but for a variety of reasons, e. g. (a) they are Brahmins, (b) Brihmins have an allotment of only two seats out of 14 and (c) the two seats have already been filled up by more meritorious Brahmin candidates. This may be true so far as these two seats reserved for the Brahmins are concerned but this line of argument can have no force when we come to consider the seats reserved for candidates of other communities, for so far as those seats are concerned, the petnrs. are denied admission into any of them not on any ground other than the sole ground of their being Brahmins and not being members of the community for whom those reservations have been made. The classification in the Communil G. O. proceeds on the basis of religion, race and caste. In our view, the classification made in the Communal G. O. is opposed to the Constitution and constitutes a clear violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizen under Art. 29 (2) In this view of the matter, we do not find it necessary to consider the effect of Art. 14 or 15 on the specific Articles discussed above
For the reasons stated above, we are of opinion that the Communal G. O. being inconsistent with the provisions of Art. 29 (2) in Part III of the Constitution is void under Art 13. The result, therefore, is that these appeals stand dismissed.