The facts of the cases were as follows. On January 1, 1979 the JANATA Government headed by the Prime Minister Sri MORARJI DESAI appointed the second Backward Classes (By a Presidential Order under Article 340 of the Constitution of India, the first Backward Class Commission known as KAKA KALLELKAR's Commission was set up on January 29, 1953 and it submitted its report on March 30, ,1955 listing out 2399 castes as socially and educationally backward on the basis of criteria evolved by it, but the Central Government did not accept that report and shelved it in the cold storage) Commission under Article 340 of theConstitution under the chairmanship of Sri B.P. Mandal (MP) to investigate the Socially & Educationally Backward Classes within the territory of INDIA & recommended steps to be taken for their advancement including the necessary provision which are to be required to be made for them for the upliftment of their status by giving equal opportunity in the public employment.
Ø The commission submitted its report on December, 1980 in this report the commission identified about 3743 castes as socially & educationally backward classes& recommended for reservation of 27% in Government jobs.
Ø In the meantime due to internal disturbance within the party the GOVT. collapsed & by thus it couldn’t implement the recommendations made by MANDAL COMMISSION& after that the CONGRESS GOVT. headed by the Prime Minister Smt. INDIRA GANDHI came to the power at centre. But shedidin’t implement the MANDAL COMMISIONS report till 1989. In 1989 the CONGRESS GOVT. toppled due to the defeat of the general election.
Ø After winning that election JANATA DAL again came to the power & decided to implement the report of the commission. After that then Prime Minister V.P.SINGH issued office of memorandum on AUGUST 13, 1990& reserved 27% seats for the Socially & Backward classes.
Ø This cause effect in civil disturbance throughout the INDIA. From various places anti Reservation movement rocked the nation for 3 months. It results a huge loss of persons & property.
Ø A writ petition was filed from the BAR ASSOCIATION OF THE SUPREME COURT.Challenging the validity of Office of Memorandum issued by the GOVT.
Ø The case was ultimately decided by the 5 Judges bench. They issued a stay order till the final disposal of the case on October 1, 1990. Unfortunatelyin the meanwhile JANATAGOVT. again collapsed due to defections & in 1991 by the Parliamentary elections & the Congress again formed the GOVT. at centre.
Ø To tackle the situation & also for the political gain then Prime Minister P.V. NARSHIMA RAO issued another office of memorandum by making 2 changes i) by introducing the economic criterion in granting reservation within 27% in Govt. Job. & ii) Reserved another 10% of vacancies for the socially & educationally backward classes. That is total 37% (27% 10%)
Ø The 5judge’s bench referred this matter to the 9 judges bench who issued a notice to the Govt. to show cause the criteria upon which the GOVT. has proposed to make 27% reservation for them. But in spite of taking several adjournments the GOVT. of INDIA has failed to explain the criteria mentioned in the office of memorandum
The 9 judges Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court by 6-3 majority gave the following judgements:-
I. Backward class of citizen in Article 16(4) can be identified on the basis of the caste system & not only on economic basis.
II. Article 16(4) is not an exception of Article 16(1). It is an instance of the classification. Reservation can be made under article 16(1).
III. Backward classes in Article 16(4) were not similar to as socially & educationally backward in article 15(4).
IV. Creamy layer must be excluded from the backward classes.
V. Article 16(4) permits classification of backward classes into backward & more backward classes.
VI. A backward class of citizens cannot be identified only & exclusively with reference to economic criteria.
VII. Reservation shall not exceed 50%.
VIII. Reservation can be made by the ‘EXECUTIVE ORDER’.
IX. No reservation in promotion.
X. Permanent Statutory body to examine complains of over – inclusion / under – inclusion.
XI. Majority held that there is no need to express any opinion on the correctness or adequacy of the exercise done by the MONDAL COMMISSION.
XII. Disputes regarding new criteria can be raised only in the Supreme Court.