Ahead of assembly elections in the state, the Karnataka government has increased reservations for Scheduled Caste(SC) by 2 per cent and Schedule Tribe(ST) by 4 per cent. The decision was taken at an all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday.

The state government said it will seek amendment of the constitution from the union government as the hike surpasses the 50 per cent cap fixed by the Supreme Court in the Indira Sawhney judgement. 

Bommai said, “Increasing reservation quota on the basis of population has been a long pending demand. The decision will be formalised in the cabinet meeting tomorrow. Giving reservation without doing injustice to anyone is the real justice which is being done by the incumbent government.”

Currently, the state provides 32 per cent reservation for OBCs, 15 per cent for SCs and 3 per cent for STs, totalling to 50 per cent. Now, the government has decided to increase the quota for SCs from 15 to 17 per cent and from 3 to 7 per cent for STs. The increase has been made as per the recommendations made by Justice Nagamohan Das Committee.

Karnataka Law Minister J.C. Madhuswamy said the government will look into alternatives, such as either introducing a Bill in the winter session of the legislature in December or the State legislature passing a resolution unanimously, as the decision is anticipated to be subject to legal scrutiny. 

The government is planning to introduce the change through Schedule 9, which provides judicial immunity. Tamil Nadu has in the past increased its reservation quota to 69 per cent by introducing it through Section 9.