The IX Schedule
The IX Schedule

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi categorically stated that there is no question of enhancing the total percentage of reservations beyond 50 per cent as stipulated by the Supreme Court, the latest note sent by the Union Government on the Kapu reservation quota to the Andhra Pradesh government stated that it cannot flout the apex court verdict as the quota move crosses the stipulated 50 percent cap.

Now, it also applies to Telangana proposal to raise reservations for Muslims and STs. Both can only pray that the Centre passes a bill to amend the IX Schedule of the Constitution to include their laws in the Schedule. 

The original constitution provided for three categories of amendments. The first category of amendments are those contemplated in articles 4 (2), 169 (3) -1962, 239A (2) -1962, 239AA (7b) -1991, 243M (4b) -1992, 243ZC (3) -1992, 244A (4) -1969, 356 (1)c, para 7(2) of Schedule V and para 21(2) of Schedule VI.

These amendments can be effected by Parliament by a simple majority such as that required for the passing of any ordinary law.  The second category includes amendments that can be effected by Parliament by a prescribed ‘special majority’; and the third category of amendments includes those that require, in addition to such "special majority", ratification by at least one half of the State Legislatures. The last two categories are governed by the Article 368.

Article 31-B of the Constitution of India ensured that any law in the Ninth Schedule could not be challenged in courts, even if they violate fundamental rights in Part III of the Constitution. The first amendment to the Constitution added the Ninth Schedule to it on 10 May 1951. The First Amendment that brought in Articles 31A and 31B confer right on Parliament to include state laws in the 9th Schedule.

The 76th amendment accommodated Tamil Nadu government’s legislation to provide for reservations to the level of 69 percent for SC/ST and OBCs in the 9th Schedule. The 78th amendment provides immunity to not just laws in 9th Schedule but also to amendments to those laws. Hence, there is clamouring by Telugu States to include their reservation laws in the 9th Schedule.