Recently, a Supreme Court division bench comprising Jt. M.R. Shah & Jt. B.V. Nagathana in the case, State of Punjab vs Anshika Goyal, 2022 observed that no mandamus can be issued to the State Government to provide for reservation. The Judgement quashed the ruling of Punjab & Haryana High court to provide 3% sports quota in state medical/dental colleges in Punjab.
The issue was whether interference by issuance of writ(mandamus) in State government policy decision to prescribe a reservation/quota percentage limit for a particular category of people is allowed or not?
The court referred to several judgements –
i) Gulshan Prakash (Dr.) and others v. State of Haryana and others, 2010
ii) Chairman and Managing Director, Central Bank of India SC/ST Employees Welfare Association and others, 2015
iii) Suresh Chand Gautam v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2016
iv) Mukesh Kumar and another v. State of Uttarakhand and others, 2020
The court found that the judgements held that no mandamus can be issued by courts against state governments.
Further the bench noted – “no writ of mandamus can be issued directing the State to collect quantifiable data to justify their action not to provide for reservation. It was observed that even if the under-representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in public services is brought to the notice of the Court, no mandamus can be issued by the Court to the State Government to provide for reservation.“
The court held the High Court exceeded its jurisdiction by issuing a writ of mandamus directing the State to provide a particular percentage of reservation for sports persons, i.e., 3% reservation.