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Q. What provisions have been made in the constitution for reservation of seats in the legislature for SC/STs and women?.

To ensure that the problems faced by SC/STs are appropriately addressed, it is imperative that first those problems be highlighted and brought to the attention of the law making bodies. The makers of the constitution felt that nobody can understand their problems better than SC/STs themselves. Thus, they provided for the adequate representation of SC/STs in the constitution. The same holds true for Anglo Indians as well.

The following are the provisions meant for this purpose -

Provisions for SC/ST

Art 330

Under this article, seats have been reserved in the house of people for SC/STs. The number of seats reserved in a state for SC/STs is proportional to the population of SC/STs in that state. Based on the demographics reflected by census, certain constituencies are reserved and only SC/STs can contest from such seats. However, there is only one electoral roll. There is no separate electorate for SC/ST. Further, it is important to note that SC/STs still can contest elections in unreserved constituencies as well. This was held by SC in the case of V V Giri vs D S Dora AIR 1959 .

Art 332
Under this article,seats have been reserved in state legislatures for SC/STs. The number of reserved is proportional to the population of SCs and STs in that state.

In the case of Bhaiya Lal vs Hari Krishen Singh AIR 1965, SC held that to see if whether a caste belongs to ST or not, the list issued by the President under Art 341 must be consulted.

Art 334
This article puts a time limitation on the reservation of seats in legislature( Lok Sabha as well as state legislatures). Initially, seats were reserved only for 10 years but it has been increased by 10 yrs regularly and as of now, it is 60 yrs from the commencement of the constitution.

Provisions for Anglo Indians

Art 331 allows the President to appoint at the most two members in the house of people to represent the Anglo Indian community. Art 333 allows the Governor of a State to appoint 1 member in the state legislature if he feels that the Anglo Indian community has not been represented.

Provisions for Women
There have been several attempts by various governments to introduce a bill to reserve seats in the parliament. However, no such bill has been introduced, let alone passed.

Discussion on reservation to women - Fatta.