February 20, 2020
BHOPAL: A young law scheduled caste student from the scheduled caste (SC) category in Madhya Pradesh has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking an end to caste-based reservations for the kin of lawmakers and top government officials.
The petitioner Vikaram Kumar Bagade, a first-year law student from Neemuch district, completed his graduation and cleared the LLB admission by appearing as a general category candidate, despite being an SC certificate holding candidate. He claims that he didn’t avail the scholarship given to SC students after completing school, despite being the son of a Class IV employee.
Bagade (25), a student of Rajiv Gandhi Law College in Mandsaur district, filed the PIL on January 25 and it was registered by the SC registry (admitted for hearing) on February 2. “The PIL has been registered and I’m hopeful that it will be heard by the top court next month. I’ll represent myself in the matter,” he said.
In the PIL, Bagade, the son of a peon working at a students hostel, has submitted that only 20% of the SC and STs are actually deriving the benefits of caste-based reservation in education and employment and the remaining 80% who are in dire need of those benefits are not getting reservation benefits.
“In the SC/ST category, the same admission/recruitment test is taken by the son of a Class IV employee like me and children of top lawmakers or Grade I government officers also. But it’s the candidates from affluent sections (children of lawmakers and government officers) who owing to better resources and access to top educational coaching facilities actually crack these tests and candidates from poor sections lag behind due to non-availability of resources. Hence I’ve prayed in the PIL to the apex court to direct for ending caste-based reservation benefits for kin of lawmakers and ministers as well as Grade I officers,” Bagade told The New Indian Express on Wednesday.
“A politician needs reservation benefits for contesting polls which should be left intact, but reservation benefits to the politician’s family should be withdrawn,” he added.
In the same PIL, the young law student has also sought that the court provide all reserved category people who want to surrender their benefits the option to pass them on to those in dire need of such support. “If people can surrender LPG gas subsidies and some elderly people don’t even claim the travel concessions, why can’t we’ve an option in which the reserved category people too can surrender their benefits for the larger cause of nation and to those who actually need these benefits for their upliftment,” he asked.
Bagade claims that he has in the past met the local MP, MLA and government officials to surrender his reservation benefits, but did not get any support.