Legal Analysis of Miscellaneous Applications in Reservation Act Implementation

In a recent legal case, the court delved into the intricacies of the law while considering miscellaneous applications related to the implementation of the Reservation Act. The focus was on the court’s legal analysis and interpretation of various procedural aspects, including the review jurisdiction and proper procedures to be followed in similar cases. A deep dive into the court’s considerations sheds light on the complexities of legal proceedings in cases of this nature.


  • Circular issued by Government of Karnataka on 24 June 2019.
  • Meetings held under the Chief Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary resulted in FAQ list.
  • Interim order on 1 March 2019 halted implementation of the GO dated 27 February 2019.
  • Government of Karnataka withdrew the order on 5 March 2019 after B K Pavitra II judgment, directing adherence to Reservation Act 2018 according to the GO of 27 February 2019.

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  • The principal points urged in the present MAs are: (i) Vacancy-based roster illegality not corrected since 27 April 1978, when reservation policy in promotions introduced in Karnataka Civil Services, (ii) State government bound by its statement in Counter Affidavit in B K Pavitra II for post-based reservations, (iii) Creamy layer principle to be applied retrospectively from 27 April 1978, and balance Article 16(4-A) against Article 16(1) when implementing Reservation Act 2018, (iv) Relief sought in lead MA includes balancing reservations and collecting cadre-wise data.
  • Applicants seek similar reliefs in other MAs based on the judgment in B K Pavitra II.
  • GO dated 15 May 2019 issued by Karnataka Government subject to judgment of Reservation Act 2018 is silent on issues resulting in arbitrary enforcement, according to Dr. Dhavan.
  • Applicants express grievance that until backlog is cleared, SC/ST proportions may exceed designated limits, citing relevant court decisions.
  • Arguments presented by different senior counsels regarding maintainability of MAs and challenge to subsequent State government directions.
  • Ms. Jaising argues against the MAs based on lack of law provisions invoked, functus officio status of Court post-decision, and filing of a review petition.
  • Relief sought in MAs faces opposition based on fresh cause of action for seniority list change, need for a new substantive Writ Petition, and previous consideration of some relief aspects in B K Pavitra II judgment.
  • Dr. Dhavan expounds on specific items 2 and 3 of the FAQs in the annexure related to the MAs.
  • The rival submissions are being considered
  • The arguments presented by the respondent are being reviewed

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  • The Court has previously considered the nature of applications filed for directions/modification/recall/correction and noted attempts to bypass review provisions.
  • The judgment in B K Pavitra II focused on the constitutional validity of the Reservation Act 2018, not actions taken under it.
  • The Court reiterated that the nomenclature of an application is not crucial; the content and reliefs sought determine its true nature.
  • Courts must prevent attempts to achieve what cannot be done directly by allowing it indirectly.
  • There has been a pattern of filing applications with varied nomenclatures to circumvent proper procedures, as seen in MC Mehta v Union of India.
  • Specific prayers in applications must align with the scope and intent of the original judgment for proper consideration and adherence to procedures.
  • Applications styled as applications for clarification or modification are, in substance, applications for review.
  • The Court may issue directions in exercise of its inherent power.
  • The MAs challenge actions of the State government regarding the Reservation Act 2018.
  • Rule 6 of Order LV mirrors the constitutional power of Article 142 for complete justice.
  • GO dated 15 May 2019 lifted the stay on the instructions for implementing the Reservation Act 2018.
  • Applications seeking relief in the form of MAs may not be maintainable if the nature differs from its nomenclature.
  • The circular dated 24 June 2019 provided FAQs on seniority list preparation as per the GO dated 27 February 2019.
  • Order LV of the 2013 Rules may be used for the Court to grant reliefs in the interest of complete justice.
  • The MAs in this case challenge steps taken by Karnataka post judgment in B K Pavitra II.
  • Preliminary objection raised that MAs seek substantive challenge to directions by the State government on implementing the Reservation Act 2018.
  • Order XII Rule 3 limits alterations to a judgment except for specified purposes.
  • The review jurisdiction of the Court is guided by Order XLVII of the 2013 Rules.
  • Courts may scrutinise applications to determine if they, in substance, seek relief beyond what the application permits.
  • Order LV allows the Court to excuse parties from complying with the 2013 Rules for sufficient cause
  • The Court can issue directions it deems just and expedient under Order LV
  • The Court has the power to adopt courses it considers just and expedient under ‘Power to Dispense and Inherent Powers’
  • Rule 6 of Order LV confirms the Court’s inherent powers to make necessary orders for justice and prevent abuse of the Court’s process
  • The present MAs challenge the actions of the State government in implementing the Reservation Act 2018 through specific government orders.
  • If the applicants are aggrieved, they should pursue a substantive remedy in independent proceedings.
  • There is no need for the Court to adjudicate on these MAs as they are not maintainable.

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  • Miscellaneous Applications dismissed
  • Applicants allowed to pursue independent remedies
  • Pending applications disposed of
  • No observations made on the merits of the matter

Case Title: B.K. PAVITHRA Vs. UNION OF INDIA (2020 INSC 321)

Case Number: MA-001323 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

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