Person belonging to SC-ST category in a particular state cannot claim benefits in other states after migrating to them : Supreme Court

The quota benefits that are given to SC-ST persons are available to that person in that state only, the person cannot exercise those benefits in some other states as this goes against the basic object of enacting this provision and in the present case this provision existed under section 42 of Rajasthan Tenancy Act 1955 that has been further elaborated upon by Justice M R Shah and Justice A S Bopanna in the case of BHADAR RAM V. JASSA RAM [CIVIL APPEAL No. 5933 OF 2021]

In the present case the purchaser of a land belonged to Scheduled Caste in the State of Punjab and he entered into a sale of his land in the State of Rajasthan against which he seeks to claim benefit under section 42 of Rajasthan Tenancy Act 1955. The issue before Supreme Court was that should a person who belongs to Schedule Caste in some other state be given the same benefit under section 42 of Rajasthan Tenancy Act 1954 or not. The Supreme Court in this case held that even though this subject matter is “res integra” they ruled any person not belonging to scheduled caste in that state should not be given the benefit of section 42 of the act provided the land is given to a schedule caste landless person.

The Supreme Court, hence agreeing with the decision of the Rajasthan High Court held that considering the scheduled caste resident belonged to Punjab and was not given that piece of land as a landless, this is not a violation of section 42 of Rajasthan Tenancy Act. The court further held that every act is enacted with a purpose and has an object that has to be fulfilled, in the present judgement there was only a clarification given that stopped misusing the provisions of tenancy act. Any land given to a schedule caste person is not only for monetary gain but also as a resource that he may use to multiply his resources, this is not a freebie given to him and it must not be disposed for money. A person belonging to a state and residing there who is applying the bar on transferring of property in another state is frivolous because he would not have been given that land as a landless schedule caste and as seen in this judgement such benefits are not even given to him as a result of him migrating to that state as Justice MR Shah also rightly observed that “looking at the object and purpose of such a provision, it can be said that the said provision is to protect a member of the scheduled caste belonging to the very state he belongs” which in the said case is Rajasthan but the defendant being a scheduled caste belonging to Punjab and a permanent resident of that state cannot claim the benefit.  

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Judgment reviewed by Meenakshi Jena

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