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  • The Hon’ble SC, in the case of State of Punjab vs. Anshika Goyal has observed that providing a reservation to a class of persons, and the percentage decided from the same is a policy decision, and the HC cannot, under Article 226, issue a writ of mandamus for the same.
  • In the instant case, the Punjab and Haryana HC had allowed a writ of mandamus, directing the State to issue a notification providing for a 1% reservation for children/grandchildren of the terrorist affected persons in all private, unaided, non-minority Medical/Dental institutions in Punjab. The Court also, in its order, directed that the reservation shall apply to management quota seats as well. This judgement was challenged by the State of Punjab.
  • The issue before the Apex Court was whether a policy decision taken by the State government providing for a percentage of quota for a particular class of persons can be interfered with by the HC by a writ of mandamus directing the State Government to provide for reservation to a particular class of people other than what was prescribed by the government.
  • To come to a decision, the Court referred to a plethora of decisions, some of them being Gulshan Prakash and ors. Vs. State of Haryana and ors (2010)1 SCC, Suresh Chandra Gautam vs. State of UP and ors (2016)11 SCC, Mukesh Kumar and anr vs. State of Uttarakhand and ors. (2020)3 SCC, among others.
  • Relying upon these decisions, the Apex Court held that no mandamus can be issued by the Court, directing the State to provide for reservation to any class of individuals. The Court also observed that in addition to what has been said above, the Court also does not have the power to issue a writ of mandamus directing the State to collect quantifiable data to justify their action of not providing reservation.
  • The Court, thus, held that the HC has committed a grave error in issuing the writ of mandamus and directing the State to provide for a 3% quota to sports persons, instead of a 1% quota provided for by the State. In doing this, the HC had exceeded its jurisdiction.
  • Thus, the appeal was allowed and the order of the HC was set aside.
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