D. Shyam Babu


Part XVI of the Constitution of India enumerates special provisions relating to the general welfare of the Scheduled Castes (‘SCs’), Scheduled Tribes (‘STs’), and Other Backward Classes (‘OBCs’). These provisions form the basic architecture of India’s social justice commitments to its citizens. This article argues that in recent years this architecture has been diluted to the detriment of the interests of the SCs, STs, and OBCs. This article critiques the approach of the Indian judiciary towards the welfare of SCs and STs by arguing that its actions are guided by the majoritarian public opinion, rather than the constitutional principles of equality and justice. It particularly criticizes the Supreme Court of India for convoluting the reservation system in India at the expense of the SCs and STs. This article also argues that by incorporation of Article 338B in the Constitution of India the government has transmogrified OBCs into SCs and STs. It also analyses the recently enacted Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Act, 2019 which granted reservations to the economically weaker sections among the upper castes. The article hopes that the provision of quotas for the upper castes will help in reducing the stigma faced by the SCs and STs