ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fallacies of Triple Test Doctrine and Backward Classes Reservation in Local Self-government

The Supreme Court’s recent judgments on reservation for the backward classes in the urban local body elections are reviewed. A separation between social and political backwardness dehistoricises the notion of backwardness. Political backwardness should be understood as inadequate political representation in the context of social, educational and economic backwardness.

Uttar Pradesh (UP) is third among the Indian states after Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, allowed by the Supreme Court, to reserve seats for backward classes in urban local body (ULB) elections under the “triple condition” regime. However, the questions raised by the apex court’s judgments might continue to puzzle social scientists since the underlying premise, relating to the relationship between social backwardness and political backwardness, went unchallenged. This article argues that while the apex court has filled a gap in the law by laying down the identification process of backward classes for reservation in local self-government, the premise underlying the three conditions was erroneous. Moreover, it overlooked the interconnectedness between different facets of backwardness and political dynamics.

Genesis of the ‘Triple Test’

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Updated On : 22nd May, 2023
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