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Abstract

The Constitution Bench of the Indian Supreme Court in Chebrolu Leela Prasad has held that 100% reservation for tribal teachers in Scheduled Areas is unconstitutional. To arrive at this conclusion, the court analysed the interface between Articles 16(1) and 16(4) of the Indian Constitution. We argue that while doing such analysis, the court lacked clarity and made contradictory observations about whether Article 16(4) is an exception or an affirmation of Article 16(1). Further, we critique the direction of the court to the government to revise the lists of backward classes in order to ensure trickling down of benefits and locate it in the debate around sub-classification of backward classes. We argue that with its contradictions and erroneous direction, this judgement makes apparent the gaps in the Indian reservations jurisprudence.

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