Raje govt notifies 5% quota for Gujjars, four other communities
The Vasundhara Raje government on Friday notified five percent reservation for the agitating Gujjars and four other communities to extend the state’s largesse to 54% of the population, a move experts say may not pass legal scrutiny.india Updated: Oct 17, 2015 11:25 IST
The Vasundhara Raje government on Friday notified five percent reservation for the agitating Gujjars and four other communities to extend the state’s largesse to 54% of the population, a move experts say may not pass legal scrutiny.
Under guidelines of the Supreme Court, a state cannot provide reservation beyond 50% of its population.
The government’s notification came nearly a month after the state assembly, where the ruling BJP has an overwhelming majority, passed a bill to extend reservation to the five communities categorised as special backward class (SBC).
Before the notification, the total reservation in the state stood at 49% -- SC (16%), ST (12%) and backward class (21%).
The Gujjars – who form seven per cent of the state’s population and are considered influential politically – have been agitating since 2007 for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. More than 70 people have been killed in the stir which had turned violent at times.
Besides the Gujjars, other communities which will get the government benefits are the Banjaras, Gadolia Luhars, Rebaris and Gadariyas, who the government said were “extremely backward educationally and socially”.
“We have fulfilled our promise today…The communities under SBC will receive benefits of the reservation,” said social justice and empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi.Governor Kalyan Singh had signed the Bill on Wednesday. However, the fate of 14% reservation proposed for the economically backward classes (EBC) as still under consideration.
He added that the state government will forward the notification to the Centre for inclusion in the Ninth Schedule.
A Gujjar agitation leader Himmat Singh said the government must now ensure that the bill does not get stuck in any litigation and threatened to re-launch the agitation if the reservation is not implemented.
Former high court judge Panachand Jain had earlier said the notification was not legally tenable.
“It is merely an eye wash. The government has said that they will place the bill in parliament to put it in the ninth schedule but it is not an easy task as they will have to bring a constitutional amendment,” he had said.
Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, whose government had earlier granted five percent reservation to the Gujjars only to see it run into a legal hurdle, too had said the government was just trying to create an illusion as reservation is not possible without an amendment to the Constitution.
The Congress had boycotted the assembly when the bill was passed last month.