Civil Appeal No.2317 of 2011.D/d 27/08/2020

Provisions Involved

Article 14(1), Article 16(4), Article 338, Article 341, Article 342 and Article 342A of The Constitution Of India, 1950. Section 4(5) Punjab Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes (Reservation in Services) Act, 2006.


In the above case State of Punjab’s appeal in disagreement with the 2010 Judgement by Honourable High Court of Punjab and Haryana. The Honourable Court struck down section 4(5) of the Scheduled Cast and Backward Classes (Reservation in Services) Act, 2006 as unconstitutional.

The Honourable Court well expressed that Section 4(5) constructed an unconstitutional sub-sect within the Scheduled Caste by reckoning upon the decision in E.V. Chinnaiah vs State of Andhra Pradesh And Others. The apex court in E.V. Chinnaiah case had exhibited that any sub-classification of Scheduled Castes would infringe Article 14 of The Constitution of India. It had emphasized that just “The Parliament of India” Not State Assembly, can keep outcastes deemed to be scheduled castes from The Presidential List under Article 341 of the Constitution.

Over three days, beginning from July 14, 2020, a five-judge bench consisting of Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M.R.Shah and Aniruddha Bose adjudicated the counsels presenting the Final Arguments.


  1. Whether the provision contained under section 4(5) of The Punjab Scheduled Castes and Backward Class (Reservation in Services) Act, 2006 are Constitutionally Valid?
  2. Whether the State had the Legislative proficiency to enact the provisions contained under section 4(5) of the ActAct?
  3. Whether the judgement in E.V. Chinnaiah v. State of Andhra Pradesh & Others needs to be revised?


The Supreme Court in the above case was of observation that Judgement by Division Bench of High Court of Punjab and Haryana of stating section 4(5) of the Act Act  to be unconstitutional and the provision was struck down based on the precedent of E.V. Chinnaiah case where the court held that sub-division of Schedule caste would infringe the Article 14 and Article 341 of The Constitution. The apex court directed that only the President has the authority to appraise the insertion or elimination of a caste as a Scheduled Caste and states cannot dabble with the presidential list. Later in 2020, in the present case, the Supreme Court was requested to assess the plausibility of section 4(5) of the ActAct in the issue. The apex court count upon the introduced Article 342A of the Constitution which empowers President should, in consultation with Governors, devise a list of “Socially and Educationally Backward Classes” for each State, which can later be altered only by the parliament. Apex Court was also of the view that forbidding the sub-bifurcation of castes to manage the most merit able classes especially would contravene Article 14 and Article 16(4) of The Constitution of India, 1949. The majority opinion in Indra Sawhney Case permitted for additional classification in castes and same could be elongated to Scheduled Castes and Tribes. The court, in the above case, also held that the states could have the authority to decide on the ratio of reservation within the permissible bounds. Moreover, the Presidential List under article 341 is not a stable one. Although states are barred from amending the list under article 341 but can expediently draft reservation laws and policies and it would obey the principle of equality under Article 14, 15 and 16(4) of the Constitution.


The Supreme Court in case of The State of Punjab vs Davinder Singh held that section 4(5) of The Punjab Schedule Castes and Backward Class (Reservation in Services) Act, 2006 is constitutionally valid and called attention to E.V. Chinnaiah Case by a larger bench.